Study: Millions more to lose health insurance by end of 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic

July 16, 2020

Researchers estimate that about 48 million nonelderly people will be part of a household with someone who loses their job due to the pandemic.

Millions of nonelderly Americans are expected to lose their employer-sponsored health insurance due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

According to a new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, more than 10 million people are estimated to lose their employer-sponsored health insurance because of a job loss due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic between April and December of this year. While the researchers estimate that 48 million nonelderly Americans will be part of a household in which someone loses a job because of the pandemic, but of these only about 21 percent of those will lose insurance as a result.

The study wasn’t all doom and gloom though, as projections show that an estimated 3.3 million of those will regain their employer-sponsored insurance by being added to another family member’s policy. Another 2.8 million people will expected to enroll in Medicaid and 600,000 are expected to enroll in the individual market, mainly through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace.

But still, 3.5 million are expected to remain uninsured.

Previously, a report from The National Center for Coverage Innovation found that 5.4 million people have already lost their employer-sponsored insurance due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic between February and May 2020.

That increase is 39 percent higher than any annual increase in the uninsured rate ever recorded. Previously, the highest annual jump was seen between 2008 and 2009 in which 3.9 million nonelderly adults lost their insurance.

According to The National Center for Coverage study, there are eight states where the current uninsured rate is greater than 20 percent. These are:

  • Texas (29 percent)
  • Florida (25 percent)
  • Oklahoma (24 percent)
  • Georgia (23 percent)
  • Mississippi (22 percent)
  • Nevada (21 percent)
  • North Carolina (20 percent)
  • South Carolina (20 percent)

The National Center for Coverage study authors say that Congress needs to act to remedy this situation.