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The ACA Will Cover More People as a Result of Job Losses Due to COVID-19

May 21, 2020

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 26.8 million people across the country will become uninsured due to the loss of job-based health coverage. While many of those people qualify for full coverage under the Affordable Care Act, estimates suggest that 5.7 million people will not be eligible and will have to pay the full cost for health coverage.

One analysis shows that eight states will have at least a million residents becoming uninsured, including 1.5 million in Pennsylvania. The analysis, which reflects workers’ expected unemployment benefits, also shows:

  • An estimated 6.1 million children are losing coverage
  • 16.8 million people will be eligible for Medicaid by January 2021

The increase in eligibility brings a concern of potential strain on provider capacity, especially in Pennsylvania. A recent Health Management Associates report predicted a large shift from private insurance to Medicaid and uninsured which could further complicate the state’s long-term financial outlook.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services reminded Pennsylvanians who experience certain major life changes, including the loss of employer-based health care coverage in conjunction with a job loss, that they are eligible to enroll in health insurance on the federal exchange. Information about these Special Enrollment Periods is available at the PID website and at HealthCare.gov.

For questions or more information, please contact Jolene Calla, Esq., HAP’s vice president of health care finance and insurance.