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health insurance

Officials say it could take more than a year to add new "community engagement" requirements to the state’s Medicaid expansion.
iStock

Officials say it could take more than a year to add new "community engagement" requirements to the state’s Medicaid expansion.

Montana is awaiting federal approval for its plan to require some low-income adults to work for health coverage.

People on Medicaid who work rural seasonal jobs in Montana are wondering about the future of their access to health coverage. Montana recently passed a law that, if it gains federal approval and goes into effect as planned in January, would require many Medicaid recipients to prove they work a set number of hours each month.

Average Monthly Premiums for Second-Lowest Cost Silver Plan in Montana 2016-2019.
Data from: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, https://go.cms.gov/2Jp5SkE

Next year, premiums for individual health insurance plans in Montana will go down for the first time since the Affordable Care Act took effect. Open enrollment starts Friday.

The roughly 50,000 Montanans who receive health coverage in the Affordable Care Act marketplace could see their premium bills drop by hundreds or thousands of dollars next year.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Gov. Steve Bullock has vetoed a bill attempting to put new regulations on a obscure and influential player in the prescription drug supply chain. While the policy failed to become law in Montana, other states are considering similar legislation.

Average Monthly Premiums for Second-Lowest Cost Silver Plan in Montana 2016-2019.
Data from: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, https://go.cms.gov/2Jp5SkE

Health insurers say premiums on the individual market could drop between 10 and 20 percent once a new bill is signed into law. The Montana Reinsurance Association Act is expected to be signed by Gov. Steve Bullock later this week.

The bill creates a new pool of money to help health insurers cover the cost of high ticket claims for health care.

Montana Capitol.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The long-contested bill to continue Medicaid expansion with new work and public service requirements for some of the people receiving benefits has cleared the Montana Legislature and is heading to Gov. Steve Bullock’s desk.

Sen. Duane Ankney (R) - Colstrip.
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

The bill to reauthorize Medicaid expansion in Montana failed to pass today when the state Senate locked in a 25-25 tie.

Republican co-sponsors of the policy are withholding their support in a play for leverage over other political goals, including the passage of a controversial bill aimed at keeping the coal-fired power plant in Colstrip running.

Montana Legislature Senate chamber.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

A Republican redesign for Montana’s health care program for low income adults advanced in the state Senate today. That opens a path for the Medicaid expansion program — including work requirements — to reach the governor’s desk.

Today's action at the state Legislature notched up tension over one of the 2019 legislative session’s biggest debates. This morning a group of conservative Republicans voted to stall in a committee the bill to continue Medicaid expansion in the state.

Sen. Albert Olszewski, R-Kalsipell, announced Wednesday, April 3 that he is entering Montana's gubernatorial race in 2020. Two-dozen Republican legislators joined Olszewski on the state Capitol steps, endorsing his candidacy.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Republican state Sen. Al Olszewski announced his candidacy for Montana governor in 2020 during a noon rally on the state Capitol steps today, joining a field that includes two statewide elected officials.

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