Feb 25, 2022 - Health

Workers are changing health plans more than ever

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Almost 70 million Americans quit, were fired, retired or otherwise left their job in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why it matters: The job market churn inevitably disrupts many people's health coverage, and the pandemic kicked that churn into overdrive.

By the numbers: The BLS does not measure whether people had health insurance at their jobs before they left.

  • However, roughly 60% of all employers offer coverage, including 99% of all companies with 200 or more employees.
  • It's reasonable to estimate 40 million workers and family members in 2021, or more than 3 million people per month, have lost coverage or transferred to new health plans, similar to prior estimates.

Driving the news: Job separations spiked at the beginning of the pandemic, due to the mass layoffs stemming from lockdowns, and researchers estimate at least 3.1 million workers lost their coverage between March and September 2020.

Go deeper