Emily Boerger | May 20, 2020
Health Management Associates (HMA) on Tuesday released an update to their analysis of COVID-19’s impact on health insurance coverage. The update builds off an April report that evaluated the impact of potential US unemployment rates on Medicaid, state marketplaces, employer-sponsored coverage, and the uninsured.
The updated analysis uses three different unemployment rate scenarios to estimate impacts: a “moderate” unemployment rate of 20%, a “heavy” rate of 24%, and a “severe” rate of 28%. The national pre-COVID unemployment rate was 3.5%.
HMA projects Medicaid enrollment across the nation could increase by 5 to 18 million by the end of the year, depending on changes in the economy. Projected further out, enrollment in 2022 could increase 0.5 – 4.5 million compared to enrollment numbers at the end of 2019. HMA also predicts the growth in Medicaid enrollment will cost at least $11 billion in 2020, and total state and federal costs could range from $18 billion to $127 billion between 2020 and 2022.
“While the [Families First Coronavirus Response Act]-provided 6.2 percentage point enhanced FMAP will cover much of the costs related to higher Medicaid enrollment, projected state revenue shortfalls remain a major pressure on state finances,” reads the analysis.
The study predicts non-expansion states will see a disproportionate share of newly uninsured. These states represent 30% of individuals losing employee sponsored insurance, but HMA estimates they will make up almost 70% of the newly uninsured by the end of 2020.
The report also breaks down the increases in cost for new Medicaid enrollment by state under the three different economic scenarios.
HMA’s full report is available here.