This issue brief describes how coverage has changed in recent years, examines the characteristics of the uninsured population, and summarizes the access and financial implications of not having coverage.
Nearly 28 million people in the U.S. lack health insurance. They will likely face unique barriers accessing COVID-19 testing and treatment. And those who contract COVID-19 and need medical care will likely receive large medical bills, even if they have low incomes and are unable to pay.
Community health centers are contributing to the coronavirus response by testing and triaging patients and reducing the burden on hospitals. At the same time, like other outpatient health care providers, health centers are having to adjust to stay-at-home orders, drops in patient visits for non-essential health care, and workforce challenges.
Data on demographics; health coverage, access, and utilization; and health status by race and ethnicity provides insight into the status of health disparities and changes since implementation of the ACA.
With health centers playing an important role in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, findings from the KFF/Geiger Gibson 2019 Community Health Center Survey provide important information on health centers’ financial situation and their experiences in a changing policy environment.