Government programs influenced pandemic coverage drops, stabilizations, study says

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A study published in JAMA Health Forum found that after 2.7 million Americans lost their insurance in the spring and summer of 2020, fall saw declining insurance rates stabilize.

The study chalks the stabilization up to various sources of coverage outside of employer-provided plans, including government-provided safety-net programs. 

During the spring and summer, the highest concentration of newly uninsured individuals were in states that had not yet expanded Medicaid. It also especially involved men, those aged 27 to 50, Hispanic people and low-income families, according to the report. 

However, Medicaid and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act allowed public insurance options to increase over the fall while private insurance remained consistent. 

"It does appear that the mechanisms put in place by the Affordable Care Act played an important role in insulating people from the impact of losing their health insurance," said study author Kate Bundorf, PhD.

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