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Medicaid Expansion Enrollment In Montana Grew By 1,700 In May

Gov. Steve Bullock talks about Medicaid expansion at a press conference on Jan. 8, 2019.
Shaylee Ragar
UM Legislative News Service
Gov. Steve Bullock talks about Medicaid expansion at a press conference on January 8, 2019.

In May, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid expansion in Montana grew by 1,700. It’s the first time in over a year that enrollment numbers in the health coverage program for low income adults increased over the previous month.

The program now covers 7.8% of the state population.

Gov. Steve Bullock joined Missoula community health center officials Thursday to tout Medicaid expansion’s role in providing health coverage for Montanans during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

During his appearance at Partnership Health Center, Bullock said Montanans are more likely to weather the pandemic than those in the 14 states without Medicaid expansion programs.

In 2019, Bullock and the Montana Legislature reached a deal to continue the state’s Medicaid expansion program with the inclusion of work or “community engagement” requirements. Those requirements are not in place yet for enrollees, and that policy change is still awaiting approval from the federal government.

Bullock said he’s heard nothing back and presumes the pandemic is slowing the review process.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.
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