Governor Steve Bullock today presented a report demonstrating how Medicaid expansion has been beneficial to businesses, workers and Montana’s economy.
The report indicates Medicaid expansion participants are employed by businesses in every county and in every industry. It found 57 percent of private Montana businesses have at least one employee enrolled in Medicaid expansion.
“Businesses are the backbone of Montana’s economy. And this report clearly shows businesses large and small benefit from and rely on Medicaid expansion,” said Governor Bullock. “I think it is time we fully recognize that the value of Medicaid expansion is as much for our Montana businesses as it is for the Montanans now receiving access to health care.”
The report, produced by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, uses enrollment, wage and tax liability data from 2016 and 2017 and focuses on businesses and employers to further understand how the expansion of Medicaid interacts with the state’s economy.
According to the report, 18,000 businesses have employed a worker enrolled in Medicaid expansion. The report shows employers benefit from Medicaid expansion through the cost avoidance of not paying for private health insurance, by avoiding tax penalties, and by having healthier employees entering the employer’s insurance pool.
Other highlights from the report include:
- Every county had at least 30% of their businesses employing Medicaid expansion participants.
- 98% of Montana businesses with more than 50 employees had at least one employee enrolled in the program. However, most businesses employing Medicaid expansion clients were small businesses.
- If employers had privately insured all workers enrolled in Medicaid expansion in 2017, the cost would have been $353.6 million to $941.2 million. Only 37% of businesses offer healthcare to their employees.
- Employers of workers covered by Medicaid expansion paid income taxes averaging $630 per employee, lower than the roughly $5,600 per employee for private employer-based insurance coverage.
- Nearly 90% of employers in the accommodations and food service sector have employees enrolled in Medicaid expansion. Over half of construction firms had at least one employee enrolled in Medicaid expansion. 67% of retail businesses, including gas stations, had at least one employee enrolled in Medicaid expansion.
“As we work together this session to continue providing healthcare for 95,000 of our friends and neighbors, let’s not forget the larger impact this program has on our businesses, workers, and Montana’s economy – and all that is at stake,” Governor Bullock continued.
The report also analyzes how Medicaid expansion impacts workers. Seven out of 10 Montanans on Medicaid are working, and eight out of 10 are 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. Newly-hired workers who were enrolled in Medicaid expansion are more likely to have participated in preventative health measures due to having coverage and are less likely to have a backlog of unaddressed health problems.
View the full report online at: http://lmi.mt.gov/Portals/193/Publications/LMI-Pubs/Special%20Reports%20and%20Studies/MT-Medicaid_Report.pdf
A previous report by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research found Medicaid expansion adds and sustains 5,000 jobs and nearly $300 million in personal income to the Montana economy annually, with economic benefits that exceed the cost Montana pays for the program.