Personal Finance Sep 02, 2015 12:07 AM EDT

The Obamacare Surprise: Few people availed of early retirement

By Staff Writer

Analysts expected Obamacare to help older workers take early retirement or go part-time from full-time. All of which didn't really happen when it took effect.

The main idea, since anyone can buy health insurance through health exchanges or Medicaid regardless if they have pre-existing conditions, there would be less job lock, which is the inability of employees to leave their current job for fear of losing their benefits. Obamacare didn't save people from job lock.

By reviewing data from the Current Population Survey, University of Michigan retirement analyst Helen Levy and colleagues Thomas Buchmeuller and Sayeh Nikpay found that there is no evidence of increase in retirement among people from ages 55 to 64 in 2014 than in 2013.

They also found that there is no trend toward early retirement among the states that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.

According to Next Avenue Money & Work editor Richard Eisenberg, The Affordable Care Act has become "unaffordable" among some people, especially the seniors, lower-income adults, and even middle-income adults.

Eisenberg saw a rising number of Americans who are underinsured, not uninsured, due to incentives that would reduce premiums, the rise of consumer-driven and high-deductible health plans, and employers' moves to fight the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac tax" imposed on certain health plans.

Underinsured people are those insured people with out-of-pocket costs that account for 10 percent of their household income or more. According to nonpartisan health research group Commonwealth Fund, 23 percent of insured individuals from ages 19 to 64 are underinsured. That number is twice than it was in 2003.

According to Levy, one of the major reasons why Obamacare didn't create an increase in early retirement or invite older individuals to go part-time is because the law was too new for people to consider in their decision-making. People won't easily go into a system where there are plenty of questions regarding its stability.

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