New Study Says Fewer Montanans Are Uninsured Than Ever Before
More Montanans have health coverage than ever before and the percentage of those without insurance has dropped by nearly two-thirds in less than three years, according to Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen.
"We've been tracking the uninsured rate for the last couple of years," Lindeen said. "Back in 2011 we had a study done that showed the uninsured rate was about 20 percent here in Montana, meaning that there were about 195,000 people without coverage. That rate has continued to go down over the last few years. The Affordable Care Act and the exchange has allowed people to obtain federal subsidies to help with health insurance, and now with Medicaid expansion with the help of the last legislative session we've see another huge drop down to 7.4 percent uninsured."
The significant reduction this year is largely because of Medicaid expansion, passed last year. Nearly 50,000 people have enrolled in expanded Medicaid this year. Many of those had previously been stuck in the “Medicaid gap,” with incomes too large to qualify for the program but too small to qualify for the tax credits provided to those in the individual marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.
The data in the report was compiled with data provided by insurers, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University Montana.