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Thousands of Montanans with Medicaid will lose health insurance soon

Nearly 8,000 Montanans may soon find themselves without health insurance because many who went through the first round of Medicaid redetermination haven’t submitted the necessary paperwork.

Every state across the country is reassessing Medicaid enrollees’ eligibility for the first time in three years. Montana started its 10-month long process in April, and the deadline for the first group of roughly 18,000 Montanans to submit paperwork has now passed.

According to the state health department’s latest update on May 18, a total of 43% hadn’t submitted the required documents.

The state will release updated numbers later this month, but Jackie Semmens with the Montana Budget & Policy Center said that figure is high.

“What we see in other states are big social media pushes,” Semmens said. “We haven’t seen any of that from Montana. We haven’t really been hearing from elected leaders or state officials publicly speaking about the redetermination process.”

She added that Montana is trying to reassess eligibility for about 320,000 people much faster than many other states.

Semmens said the state should not only bolster its communication campaign but slow down the process to give people more time to both understand and file the required paperwork.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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