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Montana To Study Medicaid Coverage Of Abortion Care

Before the end of the legislative session closed, Montana lawmakers reversed course on a proposal that would have required a politically-appointed panel to decide who can get Medicaid reimbursement to cover abortion care. Lawmakers will now study the issue.

The state’s health department with studyinghow often - and under what circumstances - Montana’s Medicaid program has reimbursed abortion-related services. The Legislature also asked the department to put together a report on their findings.

The study was tacked onto the state’s budget in one of the last acts of the 2021 session.

Lawmakers had previously proposed a panel comprised of three politically-appointed physicians. This trio would have reviewed requests for Medicaid coverage of abortion on a case-by-case basis. However that panel was replaced with the study.

Under current legal precedent, the state is required to cover abortion care under Medicaid in cases of rape, incest or when medically necessary, which is broader than federal statute.

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.
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