Potential Eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP, and Marketplace Subsidies among Workers Losing Jobs in Industries Vulnerable to High Levels of COVID-19-Related Unemployment

Brief

Potential Eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP, and Marketplace Subsidies among Workers Losing Jobs in Industries Vulnerable to High Levels of COVID-19-Related Unemployment

Abstract

This analysis estimates the extent to which workers in industries most vulnerable to pandemic-related unemployment and their family members would be eligible for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or marketplace subsidies if workers lose their jobs. Absent recent data on unemployment increases by industry, we chose industries for our analysis that appear most affected by shutdowns of nonessential services. We then estimate the share of the most vulnerable workers and their dependents who would be eligible for each program under two income replacement scenarios:

  1. All the workers in the most vulnerable industries become unemployed as of April 1, 2020, and they apply for unemployment compensation in their states of residence. They are assumed to receive the amount for which they are eligible from their state for the maximum number of weeks, assuming their unemployment persists through all of 2020
  2. All the workers in the most vulnerable industries become unemployed as of April 1, 2020, but they do not apply for unemployment compensation.

Findings are shown for vulnerable workers and their family members in expansion and nonexpansion states as well as nationally. In addition, we provide results separately for those with pre-crisis employer-based coverage, private nongroup coverage, and uninsurance. We find that about 60 percent of vulnerable workers and their family members not already enrolled in public insurance coverage or employer coverage through a less vulnerable industry would be eligible for financial assistance through Medicaid/CHIP or the marketplaces. Those uninsured pre-crisis are the people least likely to be eligible for assistance if they become unemployed.

Research Area: 

Centers

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