Two new analyses provide the first nationally representative estimates of changes in health insurance coverage during the pandemic-related recession and examine who is avoiding health care because of cost or concerns about exposure to coronavirus.
The recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to lead to losses of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and a rise in uninsurance that would test the health care safety net established by the Affordable Care Act.
Drawing on data from the first wave of the Coronavirus Tracking Survey, a subset of the Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS), researchers find:
Avoidance of Care
Almost half (45.5%) of adults in families losing work or work-related income reported unmet need for medical care in their family and/or avoided care because of concerns about exposure to coronavirus in the month before the survey, compared to 30.9 percent in families that did not lose work or income.
Among adults in families losing work or income because of the outbreak, more than half of adults with lower incomes and those with uninsured family members, adults in families with chronic conditions, and parents living with children under 19 were in families that avoided care because of either cost or concerns about exposure to coronavirus.
Adults in families who are losing work because of the pandemic’s impact are more likely to face health care affordability challenges. This is one example of how the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting longstanding structural inequities within society.
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