Private Insurance Limits and Responses

Burris, S., de Guia, S., Gable, L., Levin, D.E., Parmet, W.E., Terry, N.P. (Eds.) (2021). COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future. Boston: Public Health Law Watch.

8 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021

See all articles by Elizabeth Weeks

Elizabeth Weeks

University of Georgia School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 15, 2021

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed a number of existing flaws in the United States’ patchwork approach to paying for and providing access to medical care. Shelter-in-place orders, social distancing, and other public health strategies employed to address the pandemic spawned a global recession, causing rapid and high unemployment rates in many countries. The U.S. unemployment rate peaked in April 2020 at 14.7%, higher than in any previous period since World War II. The United States has long hewed an anachronistic policy of relying heavily on private employers to provide health insurance to a substantial portion of the population. Those who are not eligible for employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) must fend for themselves in the non-group market, unless they qualify for government-sponsored insurance or safety net programs. Companion Chapters in this volume describe the COVID-related challenges for Medicaid and the uninsured, while this Chapter focuses on the private insurance market. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) dramatically overhauled health insurance in the United States. But those reforms have been under continuous threat of dilution or wholesale repeal, including a case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that could strike down the entire act. Notwithstanding the change in administration, any evaluation of the benefits or demerits of the private insurance market must be read against the possibility that existing consumer protections could be eliminated with the stroke of a pen. This paper was prepared as part of the COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future, a comprehensive report published by Public Health Law Watch in partnership with the de Beaumont Foundation and the American Public Health Association.

Suggested Citation

Leonard, Elizabeth, Private Insurance Limits and Responses (February 15, 2021). Burris, S., de Guia, S., Gable, L., Levin, D.E., Parmet, W.E., Terry, N.P. (Eds.) (2021). COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future. Boston: Public Health Law Watch., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3808304

Elizabeth Leonard (Contact Author)

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.uga.edu/profile/elizabeth-weeks-leonard

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