Medicaid Expansion Would Benefit Indian Country

May 06, 2014

Medicaid expansion would significantly benefit Indian Country, especially in Montana. 

Did you know that Montana ranks the highest of any state for number of uninsured American Indians? With expansion, nearly 20,000 American Indians would be eligible for enrollment in Medicaid.  Although  many American Indians rely on Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities for care, IHS is an underfunded program that can be best described as "rationed" healthcare.  These facilities are currently funded at about 60 percent of the actual need, resulting in very limited services. Medicaid expansion would greatly improve access to health care for American Indians.

Medicaid expansion will not only ensure that close to 20,000 American Indians have health insurance, but it will also free up funds for IHS facilities to increase the services that are offered, and improve care.  Additionally, Medicaid expansion in Indian Country will not only improve the health status of American Indians, it will also help create jobs and put money into the state's economy.

Expanding Medicaid is an opportunity to strengthen the lives, families, and communities of Indian Country. For more information on this topic, be sure to check out MBPC's report of Medicaid expansion in Indian Country.

Montana Budget & Policy Center

Shaping policy for a stronger Montana.

MBPC is a nonprofit organization focused on providing credible and timely research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues that impact low- and moderate-income Montana families.