Medicaid expansion saved the Montana Department of Corrections $7.6 million in the fiscal year that ended in July.
Between 2001 and 2008, spending on inmate health care in Montana grew at the fourth highest rate of any state in the country - by 206 percent per inmate. That's according to the Department of Corrections.
And, prior to Medicaid expansion, the department had to cover nearly all of those costs.
But, since Medicaid expansion kicked in last year, the department has been able to bill Medicaid for care for 139 inmates it would not have been able to prior to the state legislature approving expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act.
Adrianne Cotton is Government Relations Director for the Montana Department of Corrections.
"From the Department of Correction's perspective, if Medicaid expansion was rolled back, the cost of care for providing outside medical inpatient treatment to the justice-involved population would increase substantially," said Cotton.
Currently, 100 percent of the state's Medicaid expansion costs are paid by the federal government. That's set to ramp down, so the state will be responsible for 10 percent of Medicaid expansion costs in future years.
Montana's Medicaid expansion law is set to expire if not renewed by lawmakers in 2019.