Job lock, retirement, and dependent health insurance: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act

Shi, Maggie

The 2010 Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage to depen- dents up to age 26, allowing some parents to add adult children to their employer- sponsored plans. I leverage this policy to understand the role adult children play in their parents’ labor supply, and consider a potential spillover of the dependent mandate policy to parents: did parents delay retirement to take advantage of the policy? I find that among parents aged 55-66, affected parents’ retirement rate fell by 3.8 percentage points after policy enactment, causing them to delay retirement by 0.74 years on average. An estimated 290,000 parents delayed retirement in order to obtain coverage for their children.


Also Published In

More About This Work

Academic Units
Published Here
May 29, 2020


A previous version of this paper is available at