FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Ronja Abel, Communications Director, (406) 444-9725
Marissa Perry, Press Secretary, (406) 444-5514
Jon Ebelt, DPHHS Public Information Officer, (406) 444-0936
Governor Bullock Announces $22 million in State Savings in First Year of Medicaid Expansion
Governor, DPHHS highlight latest Medicaid savings, lives saved and enrollment numbers
MONTANA - Governor Steve Bullock announced today the latest Medicaid expansion enrollment numbers, which includes a savings of $22 million to the state Medicaid program and Montana taxpayers in the first year of expansion. The number of Medicaid expansion enrollees has increased to 71,000.
“A record number of Montana children, families, and communities are receiving the access to health care they deserve,” said Governor Bullock. “By bringing Democrats and Republicans together to improve access to healthcare services and bringing our federal tax dollars back home, we have ensured quality care for Montanans while throwing a lifeline to our rural hospitals and saving state and taxpayer dollars.”
The updated information highlights the increased number of Medicaid expansion enrollees and total amount of cost-savings since its implementation.
- Updated Medicaid expansion numbers show that 71,000 Montanans now have coverage, including 9,900 American Indians; and
- Medicaid expansion has saved $22 million in state general fund dollars (since January 2016), and is projected to save $1.5 million each month moving forward;
- The uninsured rate in Montana has dropped from 15% in 2013 to just over 7% in 2016.
“More of our fellow Montanans are receiving comprehensive health care coverage, including coverage for chemical dependency and behavioral health treatment,” said Sheila Hogan, Director of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. “These numbers illustrate the positive results we can accomplish through committed financial stewardship.”
Medicaid expansion has impacted our hospitals and the lives of thousands of Montanans in many ways, including:
- Rural hospitals that had been struggling under the weight of uncompensated care for the uninsured have been thrown a lifeline;
- Newly covered individuals have accessed 84,000 life-saving and cost-reducing preventative care services, including over 19,000 cancer screenings and 9,400 cholesterol screenings; and
- Thousands of veterans and American Indians finally have access to comprehensive coverage with access to a diverse network of providers.
The program is truly saving lives. “If it wasn’t for Medicaid expansion I wouldn’t be alive,” said Holly Blouch of Kalispell. “It has literally saved my life physically and financially. Now that I have health coverage, I am able to see the doctors who specialize and know my condition and can further my care. I can get all of my prescriptions filled each month. Medicaid expansion has given me access to the care I need.”