Uninsured rate remained largely unchanged during pandemic, study finds

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Upticks in public and ACA marketplace coverage offset losses in employer-sponsored health insurance, leaving the nation's uninsured rate largely unchanged because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an Aug. 23 brief published by the Urban Institute. 

For the brief, researchers with the Urban Institute evaluated changes in health insurance coverage among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic using the organization's health reform monitoring survey. 

What researchers found is that between March 2019 and April 2021, the number of adults who got health insurance through their employer fell from 65 percent to 62.3 percent — a decrease of 5.5 million adults.

At the same time, the number of adults with health insurance through a public source grew from 13.6 percent to 17.5 percent, or by 7.9 million adults. The combined result is an uninsured rate that remained largely the same at 11 percent.

"Researchers say maintaining the current uninsurance rate will require protecting coverage for current and prospective Medicaid enrollees as the economy improves and the disenrollment freeze is lifted," the researchers concluded.

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