About 28 million Americans have been laid off or furloughed since early March due to COVID-19, and it's likely 12.7 million lost health insurance through their employer as a result, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank.
To come to this conclusion, research economists with the institute analyzed data from state-level unemployment insurance claims from the U.S. Department of Labor. The economists explained their methodology in a separate blog post.
The U.S. is unique in how it ties health insurance benefits to employment, the researchers said. This characteristic of the healthcare system means as unemployment rises, so will uninsured rates.
"The linkage between specific jobs and the availability of health insurance is a prime source of inefficiency and inequity in the U.S. health system," the researchers said. "It is especially terrifying for workers to lose their health insurance as a result of, and during, an ongoing pandemic."
Read more here.