Report: Medicaid Expansion Would Benefit Wyoming

 
by K2 News Desk, info@k2tv.com 
 
State Health Department Director Tom Forslund says expanding medicaid coverage in Wyoming would likely reduce the number of uninsured people and ultimately save the state money. 
 
On Friday, the department released a detailed analysis of potential positive and negative effects of the expansion. 
 
The report ultimately concluded that the cost of the expanded medicaid program between 2014 and 2020 would cost the state $151 million. Without the expansion, the report says the cost to the general fund would likely be about $198 million. That translates to $47 million in savings by implementing the medicaid expansion. 
 
Following a Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion was made mandatory for some groups including children but gave states the option in regards to expanding coverage for adults.

In regards to other benefits, Health Department spokeswoman Kim Deti said expanding medicaid in the Cowboy State could help more Wyomingites get healthcare services and could benefit healthcare providers by reducing the numbers of patients they treat without insurance. "The expected increase in federal dollars flowing into the system could help create higher demand for healthcare jobs," said Deti in a press release. 
 
As for potential negative impacts, Deti said the expansion could result in healthcare provider shortages and uncertainty about the federal deficit's effect on future federal funding.