A model developed by Health Management Associates (HMA) assesses COVID-19’s potential impact on health insurance coverage for each state and forecasts Medicaid enrollment could increase by 11 to 23 million across all states over the next several months.
A team of HMA Medicaid experts, health economists, and data analysts calculated the approximate change in health insurance coverage by state as a result of the economic disruptions primarily driven by COVID-19. With COVID-19 having the potential to cause unemployment rates to climb to anywhere from 10 to 25% of the population, HMA utilized three unemployment rate scenarios to estimate the impact on Medicaid, the ACA Marketplaces, employer provided insurance, and the uninsured.
All three scenarios result in a significant shift from the number of Americans covered by employer provided insurance to some form of Medicaid or a Marketplace plan. The number of people uninsured is estimated to reach 30 million in the lowest unemployment rate scenario and could climb to 40 million if the country experiences a 25% unemployment rate.
“This is the first economic downturn since Medicaid expansion, and what we’re experiencing is unprecedented,” said Jay Rosen, founder and president of HMA. “With millions of Americans expected to enroll in Medicaid in the coming months, our COVID-19 impact estimates at the state level are critical for policymakers trying to begin the complex steps of implementing new laws and policies while navigating an array of financial implications.”
In addition to Medicaid enrollment expanding, millions of people could enroll in a Marketplace plan after losing their employer-sponsored coverage, but millions could also leave the Marketplace due to lower income. The influx of individuals enrolling in the Marketplace and Medicaid will require significant implementation efforts by state governments, managed care organizations, and providers.
HMA intends to update the model as more information becomes available.