When the COVID-19 pandemic began in the U.S. in March 2020, the closures and disruptions that the virus brought to nearly every facet of life sparked concern about the impact on market access. Would there be major shifts in medical and pharmacy coverage, with millions of lives moving from commercial coverage to the ranks of uninsured? The actual effects on health insurance enrollment, however, were relatively muted. Wide swaths of the workforce transitioned more easily to remote work than was initially predicted. And even in some industries that did see significant economic impact, employers were able to furlough employees rather than laying them off, allowing workers to maintain coverage, while other enrollees opted to use COBRA to keep their insurance. Other industries, such as the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors that arguably suffered the most in the pandemic, already had low health insurance offer rates, so rising unemployment had less of an impact on the uninsured than originally predicted. Despite that, as more workers saw their income levels drop, managed Medicaid showed the largest jump in lives, with states reporting a 5.9% enrollment increase to 54.7 million beneficiaries from October 2020 to January 2021. Medicare was a distant second, with a 1.2% jump. Commercial, state Medicaid and health exchange lives held within a percentage point of previous levels. Visit https://www.mmitnetwork.com/covid-resources/ to learn more about how MMIT can support your COVID-19 business challenges.
*Inclusive of Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs)
SOURCE: Lives Changes Driven by COVID-19, January 2021 update, from MMIT Analytics.