Thousands Join Medicaid Rolls as Pandemic Causes Unemployment to Spike

As the novel coronavirus continues to touch nearly every aspect of American life, the U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7% in April 2020, a level not seen since the Great Depression. And the speed at which job losses are mounting is unprecedented — in February 2020, the unemployment rate was just 3.5%. Without employer-sponsored coverage, many Americans have become newly eligible for Medicaid in recent months. States that have reported Medicaid enrollment data for April, May or June 2020 have seen an average Medicaid enrollment increase of 4% from the first quarter of 2020 to the second quarter. That’s a significant change from the previous trend, as nationwide Medicaid enrollment actually dropped 0.6% from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020. Though the full national picture is not yet in focus, of the 31 states that have released second-quarter Medicaid data, none have seen a decrease in sign-ups. Enrollment growth is especially evident in states that expanded Medicaid to certain adult populations under the Affordable Care Act, such as Rhode Island (9.4% increase), Kentucky (7.5% increase) and Arizona (6.3% increase). While many states have begun to reopen, true economic recovery is almost impossible to predict, particularly without a COVID-19 vaccine and the looming threat of a “second wave” of the virus.

© 2024 MMIT
Carina Belles

Carina Belles

Carina has been covering public-sector health care since 2018. As a data reporter for Radar on Medicare Advantage, she creates infographics and data stories on issues impacting Medicare, Medicaid and Part D. She also develops AIS Health Daily, a free daily newsletter that showcases AIS’s strong reporting across our four publications and parent company Norstella’s suite of market access and data solutions. Prior to joining the editorial team, she managed Medicare and Medicaid data for the Directory of Health Plans, AIS’s industry-standard health coverage database. She graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. in Journalism.

Related Posts

unitedhealthcare
July 18

Unprecedented Star Ratings Update Will Impact Nearly 2M Members

READ MORE
laptop-with-data
July 18

KFF: Medicare Advantage Boasts the Highest Gross Margins in Health Care

READ MORE
older-couple-at-table
July 18

New Studies Tout Benefits of High Duals Integration, Pinpoint Shortcomings

READ MORE

GAIN THERAPEUTIC AREA-SPECIFIC INTEL TO DRIVE ACCESS FOR YOUR BRAND

Sign up for publications to get unmatched business intelligence delivered to your inbox.

subscribe today