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More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment and that number is projected to grow. Losing employer-based health insurance is a terrible added burden during a pandemic. A recent survey by The Commonwealth Fund found that 41 percent of those who have lost their jobs or had hours or pay cut had lost their health insurance, were worried about losing it or were uninsured before the pandemic. Nearly two-thirds said that out-of-pocket costs would impact whether they sought care if they had symptoms of coronavirus. A recent analysis by the Urban Institute of workers in vulnerable industries found that those who have lost their jobs in states where Medicaid has not been expanded are likely to fare worse.

Join Sara Collins, vice president of The Commonwealth Fund, and Linda Blumberg, an institute fellow in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute, for an in-depth discussion of how joblessness has altered the health insurance landscape and what it is likely to mean for individuals and governments as they go forward.

This webinar is free to business journalists as a part of a grant from the Commonwealth Fund to SABEW.

Speakers:

Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., is vice president for health care coverage and access at The Commonwealth Fund.  An economist, Dr. Collins directs the Fund’s program on insurance coverage and access.  She also directs the Fund’s research initiative on Tracking Health System Performance. Since joining the Fund in 2002, Dr. Collins has led several multi-year national surveys on health insurance and authored numerous reports, issue briefs and journal articles on health insurance coverage, health reform, and the Affordable Care Act.

Linda Blumberg is an Institute fellow in the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute. She is an expert on private health insurance (employer and nongroup), health care financing, and health system reform. Her recent work includes extensive research related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA); in particular, providing technical assistance to states, tracking policy decisionmaking and implementation at the state and federal levels, and interpreting and analyzing the implications of particular policies.

Facilitator Ridgely Ochs has been the SABEW health care project director since 2017.  She is a retired health care reporter from New York’s Newsday.  Her beat included the island’s 23 hospitals and two county health departments, as well as the ACA.  She was a fellow in the SABEW Atlanta Commonwealth/SABEW health care symposium in 2014.