The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. While the economy has been a frequent topic of fallout throughout the ongoing pandemic in the United States, the reality for lives of workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic is often overlooked or erroneously blamed on an unwillingness to work.
Roughly 9.6 million American workers lost their jobs in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the unemployment rate from 3.8% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020. Not only did 23% of those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic not have employer-provided health insurance prior to being laid off, as many as 56% of those who remain unemployed lost their health insurance along with their jobs. Of those still unemployed:
- 81% remain uninsured;
- 58% are no longer receiving routine care;
- 56% are no longer taking prescribed medications;
- 46% have delayed planned medical procedures;
- 44% are not seeking treatment for chronic conditions; and
- 41% have stopped receiving mental health treatment.
Most Americans could be easily overwhelmed by medical expenses. Only 39% of Americans can afford an unexpected $1,000 bill. Nearly 84% of uninsured Americans could be financially devastated in the event of a medical emergency. More than a third of adults in the U.S. have growing medical debt — even with health insurance.
Even while COVID-19