Montana Medicaid Expansion: A good deal for workers and employers

We all know health insurance is incredibly expensive lately, but the good news is Medicaid is a good deal for workers and businesses in Montana. Did you know that employers relying on Medicaid to cover their workers paid an average income tax of $630/employee while private employer-based insurance would have cost nearly $5,600 per employee? These employers are in every county in Montana, with 57% of private businesses in our state utilizing Medicaid Expansion. This is all according to a new report from the Montana Department of Labor & Industry (which you can read here: http://lmi.mt.gov/Portals/193/Publications/LMI-Pubs/Special%20Reports%20and%20Studies/MT-Medicaid_Report.pdf) that looks at enrollment, wage, and tax data from 2016 and 2017 to answer questions about how Medicaid expansion affects workers and businesses.

The report also details how enrolled workers are now able to maintain their health while looking for work and retraining. This ultimately helps keep newly hired workers at work instead of dealing with a back log of medical care that got put off. Workers stay healthy and work gets done.

Nearly every business (98%) who had more than 50 employees had workers on Medicaid Expansion while most of the businesses with enrolled workers were smaller businesses. This includes 90% of accommodations and food service employers, 50% of construction firms, and 67% of retail businesses. The cost to insure these workers privately in 2017 would have been around $353.6 million to $941.2 million. $37 Million for expansion certainly is a bargain for workers and employers and keeps hotels, dinners out, shopping trips and construction presumably more affordable for the working class.

95,000 working class Montanans and their employers are covered by Medicaid Expansion. We already know (via the Bureau of Business and Economic Research) that Medicaid Expansion is responsible for sustaining 5,000 jobs and about $300 Million in personal income within Montana.

Medicaid Expansion saves employers money, sustains jobs and income, and provides a way for workers to maintain their health with an overall financial input to Montana’s economy. It is clear Medicaid Expansion is a great deal for Montana!

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