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Recent Layoffs Portend Higher Uninsured Rate

July 7, 2020
US Currency with health cost written in chalk on wood

The widespread and continuing unemployment that COVID-19 has left in its wake portends a significant increase in the number of uninsured Americans. In an employer-based healthcare system, the loss of a job often means the loss of the healthcare insurance provided through that job. Although comprehensive data on the effect of the pandemic on health insurance is not yet available, there are signs that massive layoffs have left many American families newly uninsured.

On June 23, 2020, the Commonwealth Fund published the results of a national survey conducted from May 13 through June 2. Respondents were asked whether they or their spouse or partner had lost a job or been furloughed since February 2020, whether either or both had health insurance through that job, and what their current insurance status was. The graphs below indicate that, as the economy continues to suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ranks of the uninsured are growing.

In working households, one of five adults reported they and/or their spouse or partner were laid off or furloughed from their job because of COVID-19.
Two of five people who said they or a spouse or partner lost a job or were furloughed reported coverage through that job.
One of five adults who said that they or a spouse or partner had coverage through a job affected by COVID-19 reported that at least one of them  is now uninsured.
About three of 10 respondents with no coverage through a job affected by the pandemic are uninsured.
In response to the heightened need for procuring financial assistance for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACCC Financial Advocacy Network is holding a virtual town hall meeting. On July 29 at 3:00 PM EDT, Financial Navigation During the COVID-19 Crisis: Tips from Financial Advocates will feature financial advocacy leaders sharing tools and best practices for adapting to the changes in insurance coverage brought on by the pandemic and answering questions from attendees. The event is free and requires registration.

The above graphs are used with the permission of the Commonwealth Fund, which first published this research on June 23, 2020.

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