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Independent studies show that healthier Alaskans create a healthier Alaska economy

A modest investment to expand Medicaid coverage could boost the economy for all regions of Alaska while improving access to health care for more than 40,000 Alaskans, reported the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), which commissioned the most comprehensive independent studies to date of the Medicaid expansion option in Alaska. ANTHC Master Report

The studies project that a State of Alaska net expenditure of $23.4 million over the next seven years would yield approximately:

• Basic health care for 40,000 uninsured Alaskans

• $1.1 billion in new federal revenue for Alaska

• 4,000 new jobs

• $1.2 billion more in wages and salaries paid to Alaskans

• $2.49 billion in increased economic activity throughout the state

While state expenditures for Medicaid would increase by 2 percent to support Medicaid expansion, the additional $90.7 million over seven years would be largely offset by at least $67.3 million in savings to the state budget. Other potential savings are still under review. By 2020, each $1 million the State of Alaska invests in Medicaid expansion is expected to generate “$28 million in additional economic activity due to leveraging Federal Medicaid expenditures and the multiplier effects in the State’s economy,” estimated the Northern Economics’ report.

ANTHC commissioned two studies to more fully understand the impact of the potential Medicaid expansion in Alaska. The Urban Institute conducted an independent study to estimate Medicaid coverage benefits and costs in Alaska under alternative models. Urban Institute Study. Alaska-based Northern Economics Inc. used that analysis to conduct an independent study of the fiscal and economic implications of the State of Alaska’s Medicaid expansion options. Northern Economics’ report.