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Reproduced from Avalere Health; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has exacerbated a racial disparity in insurance coverage, in addition to its myriad other racial inequities, per a new Avalere analysis.

Why it matters: Before the pandemic, Black and Latino Americans were already much less likely than white Americans to have employer-based coverage. And now they're losing that coverage at a greater rate.

Between the lines: Workers of color have seen higher employment declines than white workers.

  • Many people who lost their employer coverage will be able to turn to Medicaid or subsidized plans through the Affordable Care Act, but those aren't as generous as typical employer plans.
  • "Overall, the shift away from employer-sponsored insurance could be challenging for patients," said Avalere's Tom Kornfield. "Many of these patients could face less generous benefit design, greater cost sharing, and more limited formularies in Medicaid or in the individual market."

And Medicaid may not be an option for people in states that haven't expanded the program — which are heavily concentrated in the South.

  • Even before the pandemic, Black Americans in non-expansion states were more likely to be uninsured than white Americans in those states. Non-expansion states also generally have higher Black populations than expansion states.

Related: As of this month, 26% of Black Americans are uninsured — a sharp increase from 17% in February, according to a new survey by Civis Analytics.

Go deeper

Dec 25, 2020 - World

Chile becomes first South American country to start COVID vaccination

Nurse receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Santiago, Chile. Photo: David Lillo/Ministerio de Salud de Chile via Getty Images

Chile became the first country in South America to begin coronavirus vaccinations on Thursday after receiving its first 10,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses, Reuters reports.

The big picture: The country bought 10 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and is expected to receive 240,000 doses in January, per Reuters.

Dec 25, 2020 - Health

Scientists suspect compound in allergic reactions to Pfizer vaccine

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Scientists believe the compound polyethylene glycol — known as PEG — is to blame for the reported allergic reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified six allergic reactions to the vaccine out of the 272,001 doses given through Dec. 19.

57 mins ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: It means former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.