Millions of Americans are currently staying indoors as stay-at-home orders across the nation continue. With most Americans receiving health coverage through their job or a family member’s job, how has COVID-19 affected those who risk losing their Employer-Sponsored Insurance (ESI) plans?
From a previously released estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement file, about 55.1% of the population in the United States had Employer-sponsored plans in 2018. Those who lose their job can continue to stay on an ESI plan through COBRA, however, some may opt-out due to cost. The current shift in the economy has affected workers in certain job types more than others such as “essential workers” compared to “non-essential”. Workers in industries such as food service and retail occupations who have lost their jobs due to new social distancing measures have also taken a major blow,
How Many People Have Been Affected?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in service occupations (which include food service jobs) was 27.1% in April 2020, not including the multiple layoffs over the past three months. We still do not have data that thoroughly shows the affected coverage within households, but using data from previous years can give us an idea. A recent article from BCTV shows their findings:
“We focus on the following occupations that are among those affected during the pandemic and therefore most at risk of losing health coverage: food preparation and serving; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; personal care and service; and retail sales.
Collectively, 39.6 million people worked in these jobs in 2018, representing 23.6% of all workers.”
Employer-sponsored plans Key Findings From The Past
Some key findings:
- The majority (55.2%) of workers (about 21.9 million) in one of these occupations had ESI plans.
- Slightly under a third (32.0%) of workers in these jobs were the policyholders. That is, the plan was in their name and their employment (as opposed to their spouse or a parent’s employment) made them eligible to enroll.
The study went on to report 38 million children under 19 years had health insurance through their parents’ ESI plan. 22.8% of the children were receiving coverage from occupations such as food preparation and serving; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; personal care and service; and retail sales.
What does this all mean? People are losing coverage and need help! Those who might have lost their ESI could be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If you or a loved one has been affected by the virus call your agent today and see how they can help you and your family receive coverage.
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