In the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has put millions of people out of work. A portion of the newly unemployed and their families are expected to seek health insurance coverage. Some have been furloughed, which allows them to keep their employer-sponsored health insurance while applying for unemployment benefits. Others may be able to find employer-sponsored health insurance coverage with parents or spouses.
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), newly uninsured adults and families could purchase Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage, individual market plans, short-term plans, enroll in Medicaid, or participate more fully in federal health options for which they were eligible. Today, newly unemployed adults and their families have the following additional options not available prior to the ACA:
- Individual market plans through the state or federally run marketplaces with federal premium assistance for qualifying households
- Expanded Medicaid coverage in 36 states
- Young adults (under age 26) can enroll in their parents’ employer-sponsored insurance
In this brief, Milliman’s Annie Man and Barbara Dewey discuss the health insurance options available to the newly unemployed and how this may affect the ACA individual market.
Although pricing actuaries are trained to project future
costs in environments of heightened risk, COVID-19 has introduced unprecedented
disruption and uncertainty. The pandemic has affected all aspects of the
healthcare industry and the American economy, altering the landscape in ways
that may both increase and decrease expected costs. This volatile and uncertain
environment also presents an extraordinary challenge for health plans
developing rates for 2021 commercial coverage.
This paper by Milliman’s Jeff Milton-Hall, Tom Murawski, and Doug Norris is intended to help commercial health plans navigate this evolving environment. They authors discuss key considerations for how the pandemic and its aftermath could affect the cost of health insurance coverage in 2021.
Over a five-week period in
March and April, approximately 26 million Americans applied for unemployment
benefits. As a result, many have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage.
The U.S. healthcare system has never had to reenroll this many people this
Fortunately, individuals facing changes in employment have several options for maintaining health coverage. However, navigating those options can be confusing. Among the options are COBRA, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Affordable Care Act.
In this article, Milliman’s Les Kartchner and Troy Pritchett outline a roadmap that newly unemployed Americans may find useful as they sort out their options, offering perspective on potential factors that can be expected at the macro level.
The COVID-19 pandemic will have far-reaching implications for both short- and long-term healthcare costs in the United States. One of the most important questions is how much will COVID-19 cost the healthcare system? Milliman consultants Pamela Pelizzari, Stoddard Davenport, Doug Norris, and Matt Kramer provide some perspective in this episode of Critical Point.