The Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Montana

Focus Area: Medicaid & Health Policy

Category: Report

Date Published: 2018

This independent analysis by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research 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.

This report was commissioned by the Montana Healthcare Foundation and Headwaters Foundation. Other key findings include:

  • Labor force participation among low-income Montanans ages 18-64 increased by 6-9%; 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%.
  • The net fiscal impact on Montana’s budget is positive, even in 2020 when Montana will begin paying the maximum 10% share of the costs.

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