Health Affairs study: Medicaid expansion lowers insurance premiums

MADISON — A new study by Health Affairs, a nonpartisan research leader on health policy, shows that Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin would lead to substantially lower private health insurance premiums for individuals purchasing through the federal marketplace. The study compared marketplace premiums in Wisconsin to marketplace premiums in neighboring states that expanded Medicaid. It found that expanding Medicaid produced individual marketplace premiums that were 19 percent lower among Wisconsin’s neighbors than in Wisconsin over the 2014-2018 time period. Wisconsin residents who purchase coverage on the individual market are paying up to $57 per month—or $684 per year—more for their premiums than people who live in neighboring states that expanded Medicaid. Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) reacted to the latest study pointing to the positive impacts of accepting the Medicaid expansion.

“This study proves, once again, that Medicaid expansion will help Wisconsin families in a very real way. The Governor’s plan reduces healthcare premiums for people with private insurance in addition to saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars and drawing down $1.6 billion in federal funds,” Rep. Hintz stated. “Republicans are out of excuses for not accepting the expansion, and it is clear their objection is purely partisan in nature. This is exactly what people hate about politics. It’s time to stop the obstructionist tactics and focus on what’s best for our state. 36 states have expanded Medicaid across the country. Not one has decided to go back on their decision to increase health care access.”

 

Last month, Representative Robin Vos stated, “We are never going to do it (Medicaid expansion) in a way that undermines people who have private sector health insurance, drives up their costs, all while putting the taxpayers of Wisconsin at greater risk.” Based on the Health Affairs study and numerous previous studies, these statements are not true.

“The Health Affairs research shows that Medicaid expansion isn’t just the right thing to do morally, it’s the right financial decision for Wisconsin. Democrats will continue to stand with Governor Evers to fight for Medicaid expansion,” Rep. Hintz concluded.

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