Paper cutout of family Of the 48 million people who will be affected by a job loss this year, 34% have insurance through a family member’s job, while 27% are covered by Medicaid or CHIP. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on nearly every aspect of our health care system, including the group insurance market. As unemployment levels soar, an estimated 10.1 million people will lose their employer-sponsored insurance, according to a recent analysis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

This number is just a drop in the bucket, representing just one-fifth of the total unemployed population. “The COVID-19 recession has disproportionately affected the lowest-paid workers, who are the least likely to have work-based health insurance,” said Katherine Hempstead, senior policy advisor at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The loss of jobs and coverage associated with the pandemic is a huge test for our safety net, but it may not be the inflection point for the employer market that many predicted.”

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?

Emily Payne

Emily Payne is the current deputy editor for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

More from this author



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.