Governor Bullock Presents Report Affirming Business and Employer Benefits of Medicaid Expansion

Governor Steve Bullock today presented an updated report affirming that Medicaid expansion has been beneficial to businesses, workers, and the Montana economy, and supports efforts to maintain a healthy and safe workforce.

“In Montana, three out of five businesses rely on Medicaid expansion to provide healthcare for some portion of their employees. In all 56 counties in Montana, in every industry, and of every size, Medicaid expansion is benefitting businesses,” Governor Bullock said. “There’s no doubt that the value of Medicaid expansion is as much for our Montana businesses as it is for the Montanans receiving access to health care. When we create a healthy, productive, and reliable workforce, Montana’s workers can stay on the job and keep our economy running and growing.”

The Montana Medicaid Expansion and Montana Employers report, prepared jointly by the Montana Departments of Labor & Industry, Revenue, and Health and Human Services, analyzes enrollment and wage and tax liability data to understand how expansion interacts with the state’s economy. The report, first published in 2019 and updated in 2020, provides information on businesses that employed workers who enrolled in Medicaid Expansion in 2018 and 2019 and analyzes the work patterns of the expansion population.

According to the report, over 23,400 businesses employed a worker who was enrolled in Medicaid expansion since 2016, and approximately 59 percent of businesses had workers enrolled in Medicaid in 2018 and 2019. Businesses in every county, industry, size and class employ workers enrolled in Medicaid expansion. Of Montana’s 56 counties, 49 have 50 percent or more businesses that employ people on Medicaid expansion. The remaining seven counties have between 25 percent and 46 percent of private businesses employing Medicaid expansion participants.  

Only 41 percent of private sector businesses in Montana offer insurance to their employees. Medicaid expansion keeps employees healthier and allows employers to avoid tax penalties for not providing coverage. Private insurance for all workers enrolled in Medicaid expansion in 2019 would have cost between $432 million and $1.1 billion.

The report shows seven in 10 individuals eligible for Medicaid expansion are working and eight out of 10 live in working families. The remaining 20 percent of Montanans are mostly in school, receiving workforce training, or caregivers for a family member, or ill or disabled. Nearly 90 percent of employers in the accommodations and food service sector have employees enrolled in Medicaid Expansion in 2019 and over half of construction firms have employees enrolled. Approximately 70 percent of retail businesses, including gas stations, had at least one employee enrolled in Medicaid.

View the full report here: http://lmi.mt.gov/Portals/193/Publications/LMI-Pubs/Special%20Reports%20and%20Studies/Medicaid-Report-2020.pdf

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