Individuals and businesses in Lake County benefit from Medicaid Expansion

Char-Koosta

The Montana Budget & Policy Center released Medicaid Expansion Works for Every County in Montana, a report highlighting county-specific benefits from expansion including enrollment, preventive screenings, behavioral health services, and businesses with employees enrolled, and other statistics.

“Each of Montana’s 56 counties is home to individuals, families, and workers whose lives are better because of Medicaid expansion,” said Tara Jensen, co-director of public affairs. “However, benefits are not limited to individual health care. For example, 360 Lake County businesses have someone receiving health care through Medicaid expansion, and healthier employees mean a better business.”

In 2015, Montana passed the bipartisan HELP Act providing access to Medicaid for adults living on incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty line (for a single individual with annual income below $16,750). Now, 96,000 Montanans have gained access to health coverage.

Lake County-Specific Data:

  • 3,784 community members are enrolled in Medicaid expansion;
  • Local health providers have administered 356 breast cancer screenings, 293 colon cancer screenings, and 3,904 preventive services;
  • Of those enrolled, 1,211 have accessed outpatient mental health services and 361 have received treatment for substance use disorders;
  • 360 business – 67.3 percent of the total businesses in Lake County – have at least one employee enrolled in Medicaid expansion; and
  • 1,629 individuals have accessed workforce development services provided by HELP-Link.

“Montana Medicaid is a proven success. From Carter County to Lincoln County, Medicaid expansion is working all over our state,” said Jensen. Legislators in 2019 have all the facts they need to reauthorize this bi-partisan, Montana-made health insurance program in its current form without harmful regulations that kick people off their health care coverage.”

Statewide numbers include:

  • Individuals in every county total the 44,000 Montanans who accessed counselors, doctors, support groups, or medication to treat and manage mental health issues or addiction;
  • 92,380 Montanans have accessed over 300,000 preventive services;
  • Every county had at least 30 percent of their businesses employing Medicaid-covered workers;
  • Approximately 29,000 Montana Medicaid clients have received Department of Labor and Industry workforce services while enrolled; and
  • 7,034 received colon cancer screening, averting 2,554 possible cases of colon cancer.

The Montana Budget & Policy Center is a nonprofit organization providing in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues. Our core focus is publishing credible, timely, and easy-to-understand reports on the fiscal policies that most impact Montanans living on low- and moderate-incomes. To learn more about MBPC, visit our website www.montanabudget.org.