Medicaid expansion works for Montanans
January 31, 2019
Medicaid Expansion in Montana has not only helped reduce the number of people who are uninsured, but a recent study also touted the economic impacts the program has on our state.
Since the 2015 Legislature passed the HELP Act, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana found that expansion has generated more than $500 million a year in health care spending in Montana. The study found other impacts of expansion, including reducing property and violet crime, and improving financial health by reducing outstanding debt, reducing bankruptcy and improving credit scores.
In 2012, the number of uninsured in Montana was 20 percent. By 2016, that number was less than half, at 7.4 percent. So not only is the state seeing economic impacts, but more Montanans age 18 to 64 are getting access to health care, including preventive services that keep Montanans healthier.
Gov. Bullock has prioritized expansion in his new budget, after voters struck down a permanent initiative last fall.
The program is working, and legislators need to continue to support efforts that give access to health care for Montanans.