As many as 18.4 million Americans face disruptions and potential loss of their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage with millions more at at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the University of Minnesota.
The school cites recent estimates from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center at the UM's School of Public Health.
Most Americans rely on their place of employment to obtain private health insurance coverage, making that coverage closely tied to the labor market. In the four weeks ending on April 11, 2020, more than 22 million workers (seasonally adjusted) filed for unemployment insurance as the economy shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the week ending on April 18, 2020, an additional 4.4 million workers filed for unemployment insurance, the news release said, citing numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor.
In a worst-case scenario, the change could increase the rate of uninsured people by 65% — from 8.8% to 14.5% — and the numbers of uninsured from 28.5 to 46.9 million. Overall uninsurance levels are unlikely to reach that scenario, however, since many people who lose their coverage will have other insurance options available.