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The Great Benefits Migration of 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic has already resulted in 36 million unemployment claims being filed in the United States, and unemployment is expected to continue to rise. The close connection of the employment status of Americans to their insurance coverage status will result in significant changes in terms of the insurance mix across the country and how beneficiaries access their healthcare. With the loss of employment, individuals may move from private, employer-sponsored commercial insurance to different types of coverage including Medicaid, COBRA, and Health Exchange. Accurately estimating this shift, and its downstream impact across different types of coverage channels, is further complicated by the heterogeneity of an individual’s economic and family status and related coverage.


As Unemployment Skyrockets, KFF Estimates More than 20 Million People Losing Job-Based Health Coverage Will Become Eligible for ACA Coverage through Medicaid or Marketplace Tax Credits; Nearly Six Million Are Not Eligible and Will Have to Pay the Full Cost of Coverage, and Many Could End Up Uninsured
Kaiser Family Foundation, May 13, 2020
Changes in Income and Health Coverage Eligibility After Job Loss Due to COVID-19
Kaiser Family Foundation, April 20, 2020
COVID-19 and Massive Job Losses Will Test the US Health Insurance Safety Net
Kaiser Family Foundation, May 28, 2020


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