Survey: No insurance, no doctor checkups

Job losses from the COVID-19 pandemic are the highest since the Great Depression. As a result, most people who lost their health insurance along with their job remain uninsured, according to a survey of 1,250 Americans.

The survey by Affordable Health Insurance, an online consumer information source, also found that 76 percent of uninsured older adults over the age of 55 are skipping regular doctor visits because of their lack of insurance–the highest percentage of any age group.

Meanwhile, 64 percent of individuals 35 to 44 years old aren’t taking doctor-prescribed medication, which can have short-term and long-term negative effects on their health.

The survey, whose results were published last November, include:

  • 81 percent of Americans who lost their health insurance when they were laid off are still uninsured; 67 percent are uninsured because they can’t afford private health insurance.
  • A medical emergency would “very likely” financially devastate 59 percent of the survey respondents.
  • 23 percent of workers didn’t have employer-provided health insurance prior to losing their jobs. Even before the pandemic, small businesses struggled to absorb the cost of providing health insurance to their employees, said Tammy Burns, a health insurance advisor and nursing consultant..“Companies have cut costs by going with high-deductible plans and sharing less of the cost toward the insurance. This makes it cheaper for employees to get their own health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace. At larger companies, healthcare costs are growing faster than worker wages, so a large amount of an employee’s check goes to insurance. Many workers opt out because they can’t afford it.”