Governor Steve Bullock today touted a new report prepared by University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and ABMJ Consulting and funded by the Montana Healthcare Foundation and Headwaters Foundation that confirms the benefits of Medicaid expansion in Montana on the economy, employment, and access to care.
“Medicaid isn’t only good for the health of our state, it’s also good for our economy and business community,” said Governor Bullock. “As healthcare coverage provides life-saving care, it also helps Montanans to continue to succeed in the workforce. This report confirms: Montanans must be able to access the benefits of Medicaid expansion.”
Highlights from the report find that Medicaid expansion has saved the state more than $50 million in its first two years, given the increased revenues and cost savings associated with expansion. The state also saved more than $3 million per year by reducing the cost of inmate care, and an additional $3 million per year in reduced spending on mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Additionally, the report finds that renewing Medicaid in Montana in 2019 will expand its positive benefit to Montana’s economy. Expansion is expected to generate between 5,900 and 7,500 jobs across the state and afford Montanans between $350 and $385 million in personal income each year between 2018 and 2020.
The report also found that Medicaid expansion reduces crime throughout the state by more than 3%, generating social benefits worth more than $10-$13 billion annually.
Labor force participation for low income Montanans increased by four to six percentage points as a result of the HELP-Link program. HELP-Link is a job services program administered by the Department of Labor & Industry that connects expansion enrollees with workforce training, employment services, and job openings.
Governor Bullock worked with Republican and Democratic legislators to pass the Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act, an innovative approach to Medicaid expansion. This has led to a dramatic drop in the number of Montanans without insurance. Nearly 95,000 Montanans have access to health care through Medicaid expansion today and the uninsured rate in Montana has fallen by 65 percent since 2013.
View the full report at this link.