Other states have found their initiatives to expand Medicaid similar to Montana’s SB 405, the Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act, have produced significant budget savings. Providing health insurance for low-income, working Montanans will result in state budget savings and economic growth.
Kentucky estimates their expanded Medicaid program will result in net state budget savings of $820 million from state fiscal year 2014 to state fiscal year 2021. And Arkansas estimates savings of $370 million during that time.
The savings Kentucky and Arkansas realized are available to all states. Providing health insurance coverage in SB 405 through private premiums and federal contributions will result in less need for state-funded mental and behavioral health programs. Other current specialized Medicaid programs would be to initiatives where the federal government is providing a greater contribution. Montana’s corrections program would achieve savings from released inmates receiving needed mental health and substance abuse treatment resulting in fewer reoffenders.
Research found that Connecticut, New Mexico, and Washington also realized budget savings in the first year of expanded Medicaid programs.
SB 405 is not a budget buster, and will result in economic growth to Montana.
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