Bozeman and Missoula, Mont., Apr 11, 2018 – An independent analysis by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research released today estimates that Montana’s 2016 Medicaid expansion adds $270 million in personal income and more than $500 million in additional economic output to Montana’s economy each year and generates approximately 5,000 new jobs. The program provides health coverage for approximately 94,000 Montanans. Although Montana pays for a share of this new coverage, the study also found that savings and revenue generated by increased economic activity more than offset the cost to the state.
The Montana Healthcare Foundation and the Headwaters Foundation commissioned the analysis. Other key findings include:
- Labor force participation among low-income Montanans ages 18 to 64 increased by 6 to 9 percent; these findings may be due in part to improved health among participants as well as the HELP-Link program created as part of Montana’s Medicaid expansion to help recipients find jobs.
- The program decreased the amount of hospital “uncompensated care” by 40 percent.
- The net fiscal impact on Montana’s budget is positive, even in 2020 when Montana will begin paying the maximum 10 percent share of the costs.
“Montana’s Medicaid expansion appears to be paying for itself and helping people re-enter the workforce,” said MHCF CEO Dr. Aaron Wernham. “It is hard to imagine a better deal for Montanan’s health.”
“Medicaid expansion in Montana brings with it significant benefits for our state including more jobs and income for our citizens, not to mention providing health care coverage for nearly 1 in 10 Montanans,” said Headwaters Foundation CEO Brenda Solorzano.
About the Montana Healthcare Foundation
The Montana Healthcare Foundation makes strategic investments to improve the health and well-being of all Montanans. Created in 2013, MHCF has approximately $170 million in assets making it Montana’s largest health-focused private foundation. MHCF contributes to a measurably healthier state by supporting access to quality and affordable health services, conducting evidence-driven research and analysis, and addressing the upstream influences on health and illness. To learn more about the Foundation and its focus areas, please visit www.mthcf.org.
About Headwaters Foundation
Headwaters Foundation was born from community. A community invested in western Montana. With more than $100 million in assets, our mission is to work side-by-side with western Montanans to improve the health of our communities. Our vision is a western Montana where all people, especially the most vulnerable among us, are healthy and thriving. Visit www.headwatershealthmt.org to learn more about our work.