600K Michiganders have lost health coverage during coronavirus pandemic

Employer-sponsored medical insurance is one of the casualties of mass unemployment during the COVID-19 crisis.

More than 1.2 million people in Michigan have filed for unemployment since the first cases of COVID-19 hit the state in March.

About half those people likely lost their health insurance as well as their jobs, according to a study from the Economic Policy Institute.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

The report by the Washington-based, non-partisan think tank estimated that 590,684 Michigan workers have lost employer-sponsored health insurance due to layoffs and furloughs.

Some of those people will have been able to pay for temporary coverage through the federal COBRA health insurance program or buy private insurance through Others may qualify for Medicaid. Still others will just no longer have health insurance.

“Because the United States is unique among rich countries in tying health insurance benefits to employment, many of the newly unemployed will suddenly face prohibitively costly insurance options,” said the authors of the report.

You can read the full study here.

The average story costs NowKalamazoo $400 to produce. Donate to fund stories like this.