A report out this week estimates Michigan could save nearly $1 billion if it participates in the Medicaid expansion provision that is part of the new federal health care law.

The Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, a nonprofit partnership between the University of Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and two University of Michigan economists wrote the analysis.

If Michigan expands Medicaid, the state would save money every year through 2019 for a total of $1.17 billion, the authors estimate.

In 2020, when the federal match drops to 90% from 100%, the state would begin to see net costs instead of savings. The net cost to the state in 2020 is projected to be $41 million and grow to $52 million by 2023.

The report reviewed three expanded enrollment scenarios, and found that the state would save money in each of the scenarios.

In the most likely case, based on medium enrollment, 619,000 residents would become newly enrolled in Medicaid for a net 10-year savings of $983 million.

Michigan currently has 1.9 million residents in Medicaid, and if it expands the program, another 1.2 million will become eligible, about half of whom are uninsured.

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