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Lindeen: Marketplace Enrollment Stats Not the Whole Story

State Insurance Commissioner digging deeper into Obamacare

May 1, 2014

HELENA – As federal officials released the final statistics of Montanans who bought health insurance through the healthcare.gov website, Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica J. Lindeen announced her office is taking a closer look at the impacts of Obamacare in Montana.

Some 36,584 Montanans purchased health insurance through healthcare.gov, according to the federal officials who run that website. While Lindeen said she was pleased tens of thousands of Montanans have insurance, she also said enrollment statistics alone are not the whole story on how Obamacare is working in our state.

"This is an important number, but is only part of the story about how Obamacare is working in Montana," Lindeen said. . "We are in the process of gathering more information to analyze the full impacts of the healthcare law in our state."

Obamacare — or the Affordable Care Act — made sweeping market reforms to the insurance industry. Those new regulations were far broader than the creation of the healthcare.gov website, where some 8 million Americans purchased health insurance during the nation's first health insurance open enrollment period for 2014. The statistics released today only tell how many Montanans bought health insurance through that website. To get a full picture of how Obamacare has changed insurance in our state — and how it may be working to cover more uninsured Montanans — Lindeen is taking a closer look. That analysis is expected sometime later this month.

Obamacare also changed the way Montanans access Medicaid or the Healthy Montana Kids insurance program.

Lindeen said she expects somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 Montanans will remain uninsured this year because the Montana Legislature failed to expand the Medicaid Montana program, which would have provided coverage for those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid currently, but not enough to take advantage of the health insurance tax credits included in Obamacare.