Recent research by Families USA and others projects, based on past coverage patterns, that job losses from the COVID-19 economic crash are causing historic increases in the number of uninsured. A New Census Bureau weekly survey now confirms that the projected collapse of American health insurance is well under way. Between the three-week period ending on June 23 and the very next three-week period, 2 million adults became uninsured, all in the 46% of American households that have lost employment earnings during the pandemic. People of color, families with children, and low-wage working families suffered particularly serious coverage losses. By contrast, in households with earnings that remained stable or rose during the pandemic, insurance coverage appeared to grow slightly, not decline.
Put simply, the health insurance story is unfolding differently for some than for others. Families suffering financial setbacks due to COVID-19 are losing coverage in large numbers, while those whose earnings are stable or rising are retaining or even gaining health insurance. Total health insurance losses could deepen in the coming days unless Congress protects comprehensive health insurance in the next COVID-19 emergency legislation.