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Missoula Measures - Health Care



Why this topic?

Access to medical care is a vital component of a healthy community. However, the high costs of treatment and screening can make them unaffordable for those without health care coverage.

The consequences of inaccessible health care are serious:

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act will greatly affect all data regarding health care coverage.  Montana and Missoula statistics will probably be available by mid-2015.

graph no health care coveage, US 2014

Even with health care insurance, the co-pay is often high.

In 2013, medical bills were the leading cause of personal bankruptcies (more than credit card or mortgage debt), and in 78% of those cases they had health insurance. It was the high co-pay that sent them to bankruptcy.  Nerd Wallet


As recently as 2010, about 17% of Montana adults reported they were uninsured. (Remember that only 1% of adults 65 and older are uncovered due to Medicare). Missoula’s population is growing, so the number of people without coverage is growing too, even if the percentage remains the same. 

graph percent with some health care coverage, by state, 2011

However, with implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, has greatly reduced the percent of uninsured adults.  The US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Planning and Evaluation branch reports about 50,716 Montanans enrolled in 2014.  As of summer of 2014, demographic statistics of these enrollees is limited. 

graph ACA Montana enrollees by age, 2014


Missoula’s Partnership Health Center, which provides health care to underinsured and uninsured is helping. But many health care needs are going unmet, and health continues to be compromised as a result.


Consistently, since 1991:

15% - 17% of Montanans were without health insurance. By 2011,  20% of Montanans have no health insurance.

Source: Montana BRFSS, 2000

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • Proportion of people with some sort of health care insurance - 100%

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Related Data

graph no health care coveage, US 2014 

According to the 2005 Census Bureau Report, nationally, the percent of households with medical insurance, by income level:

Income No employer-paid health plan
<$25,000 78%
$25,000-$49,999 43%
$50,000-$74,999 19%
$75,000 + 11%

Nationally, 15% of the population has no health insurance.  In Montana the level of uninsured is 16%, putting Montana in the bottom third of states.

One measure of the benefits of having health insurance is the rate at which pregnant women get health care:

graph % of pregnant women who visit doctor in first trimester

Mt. Vital Statistics

Doctor Visits

Healthy People 2020 Target

  Baseline Target
Percent who have had blood pressure measured in past 2 years 93 95
Percent who have had cholesterol checked in past 5 years 75 82

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Long-time No Insurance

The 1997 Missoula BRFS Survey indicated the length of time since currently uninsured Missoulians had had coverage:



The Medicaid program accounts for about 15 percent of all health care spending ($188 billion in 1999) and covers 36 million people. It provides coverage for acute medical care, coverage for disabled (including long-term mentally disabled), long-term care for the poor elderly, and Medicare Part B premiums for the poor elderly and disabled.

Sixty-five percent of people enrolled in Medicaid are in the first category, and 65 percent of the money is spent on the 35 percent in the last three categories.

In a nutshell, those who qualify for Medicaid include:


Related Websites

National Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey Trends Data

Links to health data, statistics and information from many national sources.


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