The first wave of COVID-19 that was a year ago in March led to a massive job loss in the USA. Job loss was a serious matter as many workers had job-based health insurance coverage. It caused the rate of un-insurance to incline drastically. Facts show that the expected no. People who would get uninsured were very high, but the numbers are not as high as expected. The present number of jobs in the USA is about 9.5 million less when compared to the pre-pandemic numbers.
Effects Of Pandemic On The American Health Insurance
Most of the workers who lost their job due to the pandemic had no job-based insurance. Most of the workers who lost their job-based insurance got it back in other forms through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), other public programs, and through marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Though many of the workers got the insurance back, the number of people who are not insured cannot be neglected.
Actions are expected to fill this gap of tens of millions of uninsured families and protect them from medical expenses. This is an essential step as many families are strained financially due to the pandemic and cannot bear another expense. President Joe Biden is expected to pass the stimulus bill, which will lower the number of uninsured people and deal with the pandemic.
The effects of pandemic on Insurance coverage:
During the year 2010, there were around 20 million people who got insured, and the largest incline in the number of insured people were recorded in the year 2014; it was probably due to the expanding laws and Health Insurance Marketplaces which were opened at that time. The numbers again started to fall in the presidency of Donald Trump; the no. of older people who got uninsured was around 10% in 2016 and rose by 0.9% in 2019.
At the time of the Great Recession, the number of people who got uninsured was about 18.2 %. In 2010 around 60 million people said that they were uninsured in between the past year. The experts expected a similar situation in the pre-pandemic period.
Reasons for less number of uninsured people during the pandemic:
Though the number of people who got uninsured was less, it doesn’t mean it’s a good sign. There are many reasons why the numbers didn’t get high as expected before the pandemic. Some of the reasons are
1. People who lost the job-based coverage got their coverage back through some other means
2. Many of the people didn’t have job-based coverage, so there no chance of losing it.
3. People had their personal insurance coverage that didn’t get affected by the loss of job.
The help of ACA to cover the losses of coverage during the pandemic:
The Health insurance marketplaces, Medicaid, Chip offer insurance coverage for the people who lost their job-based insurance. Enrollment of Medicaid and CHIP is increased by 9.4% (Around 6.6 million people) from Feb to Sept 2020. The eligibility offered by them is not based on annual income but based on monthly income, enabling many people to enroll in insurance coverage.