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April 5, 2011

 

Health Reform Will Add Coverage For 125,000 In Montana;
State Health Spending to Grow by 3 Percent, Study Finds

National health care reform will help 125,000 Montana residents obtain health insurance and increase health care spending by state government by about 3 percent when it is fully implemented in 2016, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
The increase in coverage will be caused by a jump in people enrolling in Medicaid and buying policies through a newly created state insurance exchange. Most of the rise in state spending is the result of increased Medicaid costs, according to researchers.
The estimates are from a study of the impact that the major coverage provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have on Montana that was conducted by researchers from RAND Health and sponsored by the Council of State Governments, a group that helps state leaders share ideas and insights.
The project examined five states chosen because they represented good geographic distribution and include both large and small states. The other states studied are California, Connecticut, Illinois and Texas.
“As states move forward preparing for the many provisions of health care reform, it’s important for them to have an adequate forecast of what is ahead,” said Christine Eibner, co-author of the study and an economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.
“We believe this information will help all states to be better prepared to respond to the challenges posed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” said Chris Whatley, Washington director of The Council of State Governments.
Researchers used a microsimulation model developed by RAND to estimate how health reform policies will affect the number of state residents who obtain or change sources of health of insurance, the types of plans they enroll in, and spending in the private and public sectors.
The estimates are intended to help elected officials and policymakers anticipate the choices that will likely be needed by individuals, employers, insurance companies and governments as various provisions of health reform are implemented.
Key findings from the analysis of Montana include:
The full study can be found at www.rand.org. Other authors of the study are David Auerbach,
Sarah Nowak, Jeanne Ringel, Federico Girosi, Elizabeth A. McGlynn and Jeffrey Wasserman. 
RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation, is the nation’s largest independent health policy research program, with a broad research portfolio that focuses on health care costs, quality and public health preparedness, among other topics.
The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government, and is a nonpartisan, region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy.
This project was funded in part by a generous allocation from The Council of State Governments 21st Century Foundation, an operating entity within The Council of State Governments, dedicated to inspiring excellence in state government by empowering state leaders to address today’s most pressing issues. 
The Council expresses its appreciation to its private sector investors whose contributions make the work of the organization possible.
For questions or an opportunity to discuss the findings with CSG, contact Chris Whatley at cwhatley@csg.org or at (202) 624-5461.  To reach RAND researchers, please contact Jesseca Boyer at Jesseca_Boyer@rand.org or at 703-413-1100 x 5196.

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The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships. Learn more at www.csg.org.