Nearly 3 in 10 Americans lost health insurance last year, says study

Lost health insurance - person wearing mask looking distressed

A ValuePenguin study revealed that 29 percent lost their plans in 2020, and many remain uninsured.

Twenty-nine percent of Americans lost health insurance coverage during 2020, say the results of a ValuePenguin healthcare study.

Among those who did lose their coverage, more than half continue to be uninsured in 2021.

It should be noted that the study was a limited one, involving only 2,000 participants. Therefore, the accuracy of its representation of nationwide trends has been called into question. That said, the research suggested that 45 percent of consumers seeking coverage during the open enrollment period at the end of last year were surprised at the cost of purchasing a policy. Many reported that they would want changes to the offerings.

Among those whose health plans disappeared at some time in 2020, Gen Z and Millennials were most highly affected. Fifty-one percent of Gen Z Americans lost their coverage, while the same could be said about 36 percent of Millennials last year.

The primary reason for lost health insurance in 2020 was due to job layoffs and being furloughed.

The pandemic-related job losses and furloughed workers caused many Americans to find themselves without coverage for medical care. Among the survey respondents, 47 percent said that they had lost their plans along with their employment. Another 39 percent said that they were able to keep their jobs, but that with the salary and hours cuts that they suffered, the medical coverage went with it.

Cost was reported to be the primary reason that those whose plans disappeared with their employment changes were not able to resume their coverage. Among those who did not purchase a new plan after losing their old one, 42 percent said they don’t have enough money to be able to afford the premiums or even the deductible they would need to pay when seeking care. Another 31 percent said that they had to prioritize other expenses over that coverage.

Lost health insurance - person wearing mask looking distressedAmong those who lost health insurance, women (51 percent) were more likely to say that they were unable to afford the cost of a new policy than men (34 percent).

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