Roughly 27 million Americans are claiming some form of unemployment according to the Department of Labor as of late August, and that means millions are without employer-provided health insurance benefits.
An estimated 12 million people in this country have lost their health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on research from the Economic Policy Institute. The group looked at net employment levels between February and August 2020, and job churn levels to estimate losses of health insurance coverage.
They say roughly 6.2 million workers right now have lost health insurance that they previously got through their employer. The number was closer to 9 million initially in March and April, but estimates show roughly 2.9 million workers have gotten jobs between April and July.
When you consider spouses and family members covered by a person’s employer-provided health insurance benefit, the number of Americans without health insurance during the pandemic is estimated around 12 million.
The study also looked at opportunities to get coverage. They found Medicaid in certain states has been increasing enrollment, with five million additional people signing up between February and June 2020.
For people who find themselves in this situation, there are some options. It basically comes down to three options: through COBRA, on the Affordable Care Act subsidized marketplace or by enrolling in a public plan like Medicaid or Medicare.
If a spouse has employer-provided benefits, or a parent if you are 26 or younger, look into joining their plan within 30 days of losing benefits.