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More than 600K unemployed Floridians now lack health insurance, study finds

Coronavirus

FILE – This file image provided by U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service shows the website for HealthCare.gov. Close to half a million people who lost their health insurance amid the economic shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 have gotten coverage through HealthCare.gov, the government reported Thursday, June 25, 2020. (U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service via AP, File)

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – Between February and May, a record number of people in the United States – including 607,000 Floridians – lost their jobs and, in turn, their health insurance.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Urban Institutes, a new study from a nonpartisan health care advocacy group called Families USA found 25% of nonelderly adults in Florida don’t have health insurance.

Florida has the third-highest number of newly-uninsured residents, just behind California’s 689,000 and Texas’ 659,000 newly uninsured. The Sunshine State’s new uninsured residents, added to the 2.5 million previously uninsured, bring the total number of uninsured residents in Florida to 3.1 million.

Nearly half of the increases in uninsured Americans resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crash have occurred in those three states, along with New York and North Carolina.

According to the study, nine out of the 10 states with the largest increases in uninsured are also included in the 15 states experiencing the biggest COVID-19 spikes.

Total unemployment in Florida nearly doubled this week, surging back to 129,408 despite weeks of a decline as people returned to their jobs.

It’s estimated that 5.4 million workers nationally are now uninsured from job loss between February and May of 2020. That’s nearly 40 percent higher than the 2008-2009 Great Recession when 3.9 million nonelderly adults lost health care coverage.

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