Medicaid in Montana: How Medicaid Affects Montana’s State Budget, Economy and Health

Prepared on behalf of the Montana Healthcare Foundation

Montana’s Medicaid program provides Montanans with low-incomes access to health care benefits and services based on their medical needs and life circumstances. Its Healthy Montana Kids program is the largest provider of health care for children in the state, while Medicaid more broadly serves as a safety net for Montanans who are blind and disabled, women who are pregnant or have breast or cervical cancer, families with dependent children, and other adults with low incomes.

In “Medicaid in Montana: How Medicaid Affects Montana’s State Budget, Economy and Health,” a new report commissioned by the Montana Healthcare Foundation, Manatt Health senior managing director Patricia M. Boozang, senior manager Kevin Casey McAvey and consultant Kathryn Blanford provide an in-depth analysis of Montana’s Medicaid program, its beneficiaries and costs, and how it affects the health system and health outcomes of Montanans. Montana Medicaid covers 265,000 children and adults with low incomes, two-thirds of whom live in rural Montana. The report provides data on Medicaid’s role in Montana’s health system and the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Medicaid helped halve the number of uninsured Montanans
  • Montanans are using Medicaid to prevent serious illnesses
  • Montanans are accessing treatment for mental health issues and substance use disorders
  • Medicaid provided a safety net during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Medicaid expansion supports a healthy workforce and local businesses
  • Medicaid expansion supports tribal communities
  • Rural hospitals stay in business



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