Medicaid Expansion to Cost Wisconsinites $600 Million per Year

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) and the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy (CROWE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison released a new study revealing the true cost of Medicaid expansion to Wisconsin families. Though proponents highlight certain savings to the state, Medicaid expansion is expected to result in increased costs to families with private insurance – as much as $700 per year for a family of four, resulting in a net cost to Wisconsin of $600 million.

The Study: The Impact of Medicaid Expansion: Examining the cost to consumers and the net impact on Wisconsin, by WILL Research Director Will Flanders, and Noah Williams, Director of CROWE and Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reviews data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia comparing private sector health insurance costs and emergency room visits in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility and those that did not. The results include:

  1. Expanding Medicaid will increase the cost of healthcare on Wisconsinites with private insurance, on average, by $177 per year – up to $700 for a family of four.
  2. Emergency room visits would actually increase in Wisconsin, by over 52,000 visits per year.
  3. In total, Medicaid expansion is expected to cost Wisconsin over $1 billion per year – borne in large part by increases in private sector healthcare costs.
  4. Even when ‘savings’ to the state are included – Medicaid expansion will cost Wisconsin $600 million per year.