An estimated 5.4 million Americans lost their health insurance between February and May, according to a new study reported by the New York Times.
The 5.4 million is the largest number of Americans to lose health coverage in a single year.
The study, which is expected to be released on Tuesday by the nonpartisan advocacy group Families USA, found that about 40% more people have lost health insurance during the pandemic than those who lost their insurance during the Great Recession.
About 3.9 million American adults lost health coverage between 2008 and 2009.
Numbers dwarf Great Recession:
“We knew these numbers would be big,’’ Stan Dorn, the author of the study, told The Times. “This is the worst economic downturn since World War II. It dwarfs the Great Recession. So it’s not surprising that we would also see the worst increase in the uninsured.”
The study found that nearly half of all coverage losses were in the country’s largest states: California, Texas, Florida, New York, and North Caorlina.
The number of uninsured people in Texas increased by about 700,000, leaving roughly three in every 10 Texans uninsured.
Worse outcomes in states without Medicaid expansion:
The 37 states that expanded Medicaid under the Obamacare law saw about 23% of laid off residents lose their insurance.
Under the law, those that lose their insurance are eligible to enroll in the state marketplace.
But the 13 states that did not expand Medicaid, including Texas and Florida, 43% of laid off workers were left without insurance amid the health crisis.
“Policymakers need to know now what the approximate magnitude is of insurance losses to decide what they need to do,” said Dorn. “So this is our best estimate for what the actual coverage losses have been.”