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Coronavirus Puts a Spotlight on Paid Leave Policies

As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health officials recommend that people who are sick should stay home. Benefits such as sick leave and family leave can help employees follow these guidelines; however, the U.S. does not have national standards on paid family or sick leave. The lack of a national policy means some employees are forced to take unpaid leave, or come to work when they are ill, which could have public health consequences.

How Has the Pandemic Affected Health Coverage in the U.S.?

Findings from administrative data suggest that the decline in enrollment among employer-sponsored insurance was far less than overall declines in employment as of September, and that many who did lose their job-based coverage likely found a safety net in coverage through Medicaid or the ACA marketplaces.

Majorities Support Policies Banning Discrimination Against LGBTQ Individuals’ Health Care Access

This KFF poll finds the public largely supports laws that ban discrimination against people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender in light of recent decisions made by the Trump administration to roll back protections for LGBTQ people, and the Supreme Court ruling to ban discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in the workplace.

The Front-line Workers Most at Risk from Coronavirus

As state and local governments ease social distancing orders, many employers and workers face decisions about a physical return to the workplace. Drew Altman’s latest Axios column analyzes the numbers and finds that, “An estimated 25-30 million people are caught in the middle of the coronavirus economy — they’re unable to work from home but also face a high risk of severe infection.”

Understanding the Intersection of Medicaid, Work, and COVID-19

The pandemic caused by coronavirus has resulted in a public health crisis but also a major economic crisis. Prior to the pandemic, most Medicaid adults were working in low-wage jobs. Many of these adults could experience job loss or face high health care risks/risks of contracting coronavirus if they retain “essential” jobs in health care or service industries. This brief highlights data related to the work status and financial security of Medicaid adults prior to the pandemic as well as findings from focus groups conducted with Medicaid enrollees in January 2020. Data and enrollee experiences can inform our understanding of the implications of the pandemic for Medicaid adults and the availability of health coverage for these adults living at or near poverty.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.