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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.”

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is managing editor at BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she spent the past eight years writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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