Millions of laid-off workers and their families need health insurance. Since mid-March, an estimated 33 million newly unemployed workers filed new claims for unemployment insurance (UI). Experts project that more than 25 million laid-off workers and their family members could lose employer-sponsored health coverage as the COVID-19 recession continues. Millions of people losing employment need information about replacing their disappearing health coverage — and they need it immediately, both to sign up in time to meet applicable deadlines and to make sure they have ready access to testing and treatment as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread.
UI-agency websites are logical places to present clear and succinct information that laid-off workers can use to meet their basic needs, including for health coverage that is increasingly important in a time of a widespread and deadly pandemic. Despite this need, few UI-agency websites provide essential information about health coverage.
In reviewing UI-agency websites from every state and the District of Columbia, we found shocking deficiencies in the information newly unemployed workers receive about health coverage.