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5.13.20

COVID-19 Forcing Millions Off Health Insurance, Some “Out Of Luck” Without Medicaid Expansion

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the economy, causing historic job loss and economic turmoil. According to a new report released by Kaiser Family Foundation, about 27 million people have likely lost their job-based health coverage because of it.

While there are alternative coverage options thanks to the Affordable Care Act and critical social safety nets like Medicaid, 20 percent of that 27 million are “out of luck because they live in a state that didn’t expand Medicaid,” like North Carolina where as Speaker of the North Carolina House, Thom Tillis blocked Medicaid expansion.

That’s exactly why Cal Cunningham called for a Medicaid expansion incentive in the next coronavirus aid package that would allow states like North Carolina to receive a 100 percent federal match regardless of when they expand.

More than 634,000 North Carolinians stand to benefit from expansion as “the coronavirus is blowing up health insurance at a time when people need it most.” 


Axios: Coronavirus likely forced 27 million off their health insurance

By Bob Herman – May 13, 2020

  • Roughly 27 million people have likely have lost job-based health coverage since the coronavirus shocked the economy, according to new estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • Why it matters: Most of these people will be able sign up for other sources of coverage, but millions are still doomed to be uninsured in the midst of a pandemic.
  • By the numbers: For the 27 million people who are losing their job-based coverage, about 80% have other options, said Rachel Garfield, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation and lead author of the report.
  • Roughly half are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • Another third are eligible for subsidized health plans on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.
  • The remaining 20% are pretty much out of luck because they live in a state that didn’t expand Medicaid or are ineligible for other kinds of subsidized coverage.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s latest coronavirus relief bill would fully subsidize the cost of maintaining an employer plan through COBRA — an option that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive for many people. But that’s a long way from becoming law.
  • The bottom line: The coronavirus is blowing up health insurance at a time when people need it most.