Nearly 40 million workers have lost their jobs across the United States due to COVID-19. While some of jobs are slowly returning, some may be gone for good. Other jobs are still being cut, with furloughed workers discovering their job loss isn’t so temporary after all. So how many people lost their health insurance in Hawaii because of the pandemic?
While the CARES ACT provided much needed financial relief, many workers found themselves suddenly, and abruptly, without health insurance. The average annual Cobra family premium of $1,595 was simply out of reach for many.
The numbers are finally in, showing that as of May, over 5,359,000 workers lost their employer-provided health insurance. However, some states were hit harder than others.
Zippia.com compiled the total number of newly uninsured in each state, the percent increase of uninsured, and the percent of total uninsured in each state currently.
The 10 States with the Largest Increase in Uninsured:
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New York
Northeastern states saw the largest increase in uninsured residents, with Massachusetts leading the pack. The Bay State saw an astounding 93% increase in uninsured adults as a result of COVID-19 job losses. All states in the top 10 saw over a 30% increase.
HOW THE DATA WAS DETERMINED
The data comes from Families USA, a non-profit organization.
Three figures for each state are displayed throughout this article:
- Increase in Uninsured Adults
- Uninsured in May 2020
- Number of Newly Uninsured
To determine the increase in uninsured adults, the state level increase in unemployment and coverage estimates were extrapolated to estimate the insurance drop in each state. This number was then compared to the 2018 ACS uninsured rate, the most recent data available.
These numbers are only for February to May and do not include workers who lost their insurance after May. That means any workers who lost their job and insurance June 1 and onward aren’t included. The same goes for workers who found out “furloughed” was really “fired.” Similarly, these results do not take into account dependents who lost insurance when the main benefactor lost their insurance.
OVER 5.3 MILLION WORKERS LOST THEIR INSURANCE IN THE PANDEMIC
5.3 million workers are now in a more vulnerable position when it comes to healthcare. Not only are they at greater risk of delaying COVID-19 treatment, medical care for ongoing, preexisting conditions may be beyond their reach as well.
While the 10 states examined above saw the largest increase in uninsured adults, many states not covered have shockingly high uninsured rates in the best of times.
In 8 states, 1 in 5 adults are not insured. Texas (29%), Florida (25%), Oklahoma (24%), Georgia (23%), Mississippi (22%), Nevada (21%), North Carolina (20%), and South Carolina (20%) all have more than 20% of their adult residents without insurance. Unfortunately, the majority of these states are currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Under the current American system where benefits are tied to employer, economic downturns will always be coupled with declining insurance rates.
HOW MUCH OF THE UNINSURED INCREASED DUE TO COVID-19?
Increase in Uninsured Adults: 72%
Uninsured in May 2020: 10%
Number of Newly Uninsured: 34,000
In Hawaii, there are free mental health services available.