Retirement behavior of cancer survivors and the role of employer-sponsored health insurance.

TitleRetirement behavior of cancer survivors and the role of employer-sponsored health insurance.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsBradley, CJ, Owsley, K
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue28 suppl
KeywordsCancer Survivors, Employer-sponsored health insurance, Retirement

Workers who rely on employment for health insurance may choose to continue working following a serious health condition, potentially harming their health in retirement. In this study, we examine the influence of retiree and employment-contingent insurance on retirement behavior and health of workers diagnosed with cancer. Methods: This longitudinal cohort study used 2000-2018 Health and Retirement Study data to examine changes in employment, weekly hours worked, and health status measures following a cancer diagnosis by health insurance status. We selected respondents who reported a new cancer diagnosis (n = 354) and a matched, non-cancer sample (n = 1,770 respondents), restricting both samples to those employed and younger than age 63. Results: Women with cancer and retiree health insurance were 21.0 percentage points less likely to work (95% CI: –38.5 to –3.5; p < 0.05) relative to women with employer health insurance, but no retiree insurance. Employed women with cancer but no health insurance increased weekly hours worked by 32% relative to similar non-cancer controls. Men and women with a new cancer diagnosis and without health insurance were also less likely to work (p < 0.05). Respondents with employer-based health insurance reported better subsequent health status than respondents without health insurance from their employer. Conclusions: Cancer survivors with both employer insurance and retiree health insurance are able to leave the workforce earlier, and report better health status when they stop working following a cancer diagnosis.

Citation Keydoi:10.1200/JCO.2022.40.28_suppl.222