Mark Merlis

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Nearly 18 million people rely on employer-provided retiree health benefits to fill gaps in Medicare’s coverage or to provide basic insurance until they reach Medicare age. Rising costs have led many employers to limit benefits, require participants to pay a larger share of the costs, or stop offering coverage at all for workers who have not yet retired. This background paper describes recent developments in retiree health benefits, possible future trends, and policy options for slowing the erosion of coverage or providing alternative ways for retirees to meet their expected medical expenses.

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