Study: Health Law Will Raise Claim Costs in Montana

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A study by an organization of financial risk analysts estimates the new federal health care law will raise medical-claims costs in Montana by more than 20 percent.

The estimates recently released by the Society of Actuaries say the national average will rise 32 percent for individual policies, but they vary widely from state to state.

Medical-claims costs are the biggest driver of health insurance premiums.

President Barack Obama’s administrator says the study is misleading and does not account for other measures in the law to offset cost increases.

The estimates assume all states will expand their Medicaid programs.

Gov. Steve Bullock is backing legislation to expand Medicaid to as many as 60,000 Montanans. The bill faces a skeptical Republican-led Legislature.

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