Uninsured Rate During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Issue 3

2 Min Read

Jan 22, 2021

By

Emily Burgen, M.P.H.,

Phillip Steiner, M.A., Wen-Chieh Lin, Ph.D.
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Key Points

    • The uninsured rate in Kansas varied throughout the survey period, likely reflecting the small sample size. After starting at a 16.6 percent uninsured rate in Late April and early May, it decreased to 11.0 percent in late June as businesses initially reopened, but then increased to 15.6 percent by the end of July.
    • Somewhat surprisingly, the U.S. uninsured rate remained stable between April and July, 2020, despite significant job loss over that period. Other surveys have also reported this unexpected finding.
    • Like prior years, the uninsured rate in Kansas during the pandemic closely tracked the rate in the U.S.

With the job loss and financial stress of the pandemic there has been great concern that many Kansans could lose their insurance coverage. Figure 1 shows the uninsured rate for Kansas nonelderly adults from the end of April through July, 2020.

Figure 1 Uninsured rate for nonelderly adults

Conclusions

These data suggest that those who lost employment either did not have insurance to begin with, found an alternative source of coverage such as plans offered on the ACA marketplace, coverage from their spouse’s plans or Medicaid, or did not lose their insurance during this period.

As the pandemic continues, and especially if unemployment continues to worsen, monitoring the uninsured rate and finding solutions that increase access to affordable insurance coverage for those without access to employer-sponsored coverage is critical.

The Household Pulse Survey is an ongoing federal survey that provides policy makers with valuable near real-time information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas and across the United States. This valuable resource allows for a deeper, data-driven understanding of the impact that the pandemic is having on our communities. This Pulse on Kansas is one in a series focusing on the economic, social and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas.

About Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

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