211 7th Avenue N, Ste. 100

Nashville, TN 37219

Phone: (615) 255-0331 Fax: (615) 255-0354

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July 14, 2020 –


Michele Johnson

Executive Director

(615) 417-1492

New report shows 122,000 Tennesseans have lost health coverage due to job loss.

A new Families USA report estimates the historic number of workers in each state who have become uninsured due job loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It finds that the increase in the number of uninsured adults between February and May was 39% higher than any ANNUAL increase ever recorded – including at the height of the 2008 recession. It also shows which states have the highest number of workers losing coverage, which states are experiencing the highest percentage increases in adults without insurance, and which states have the highest resulting proportion of adult residents who lack health insurance.

In Tennessee, 122,000 workers and their families have lost comprehensive health insurance as a result of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. This is the 13th highest number of losses in the nation. Tennessee now has the 10th highest number of uninsured residents in the country, with 751,000 uninsured Tennesseans or 19% of the adult population.

“These alarming numbers make the case that preserving comprehensive health insurance—not just COVID coverage—should be a top priority for Senator Alexander,” said Michele Johnson, Executive Director of the Tennessee Justice Center. “The pandemic has put a significant strain on our neighbors’ bank accounts, and lack of health insurance coverage will do further damage. Senator Alexander, we are calling on you to make sure comprehensive health insurance for workers who are newly uninsured is a part of the next legislative relief package. Because our state leaders continue to reject coverage expansion, we are counting on you to protect the 751,000 Tennesseans who will be forced to choose between getting essential health care and feeding their families or making next month’s rent or mortgage payment.”