MTPR

Medicaid

Voter values, 2018 Montana Elections Surveys. Data collected by the Human Ecology Learning & Problem Solving (HELPS) Lab, Montana State University‐Bozeman.
Cassidy Alexander, via Datawrapper / Montana Public Radio

New data released from a survey of Montana voters reveals details in the state’s political divides. It shows what voters think of candidates not originally from Montana, whether people think teachers should be able to carry guns in schools, and voters preferences on government spending and their trust in the news media.

The information comes from a pre- and post-2018-election poll from Montana State University and the Montana Television Network.

A new report says Montana could save money on Medicaid by providing housing and support services to homeless people.

A quarter of a million Medicare beneficiaries may be receiving bills for as many as five months of premiums they thought they had already paid.

But they shouldn't toss the letter in the garbage. It's not a scam or a mistake.

Because of what the Social Security Administration calls "a processing error" in January, it did not deduct premiums from some seniors' Social Security checks and it didn't pay the insurance plans, according to the agency's "frequently asked questions" page on its website.

Montana Behavioral Health Alliance Executive Director Mary Windecker testifies at a state health department listening session in Helena August 1, 2018.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s remaining addiction and mental health care providers had a lot riding on the 2019 Legislature. And they walked away from the session cautiously optimistic that they’ll soon be able to rebound from recent tough times. Almost two years ago the state health department was forced to cut almost $50 million to help balance the state budget.

Montana Senate
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature is running out of time to pass a bill to reauthorize Medicaid expansion before a deadline early this week.

The window for the Medicaid expansion bill to pass out of the Senate closes Tuesday.

On Saturday, Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso, a Democrat from Butte, attempted to bring that bill, HB 658, up for a debate on the Senate floor.

Bill Asks For Transparency In Prescription Drug Prices

Mar 27, 2019
Prescription drugs. Stock photo.
iStock

HELENA -- As the cost of prescription drugs continues to rise, one bill moving through the Montana Legislature would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide information on why the price of a drug has increased.

Rep. Ed Buttrey (R) - Great Falls
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Republicans’ long-awaited proposal to modify and continue Montana’s Medicaid expansion program was introduced Tuesday in the state Legislature.

Rep. Ed Buttrey’s bill would make permanent the state’s health coverage program for low-income adults — along with making some major changes.

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A roughly $10 billion state budget passed out of the Montana House Appropriations Committee Monday afternoon. Lawmakers are pushing forward with a smaller state spending plan than the one offered by Gov. Steve Bullock back in November.

Montana's 2019 biennium budget by function.
Legislative Fiscal Division

Health care programs devastated following the state’s budget collapse over the last two years are getting pieced back together.

State lawmakers Wednesday gave initial approval for a new plan for public health spending in Montana, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the state’s total budget.

A graph from Economist Bryce Ward's analysis of Medicaid expansion in Montana
Bryce Ward

When Republican state lawmakers heard an updated economic report yesterday that says Medicaid expansion grows Montana's economy, they didn't have a lot of questions, or push back much against the findings.

"The big numbers are roughly 6,000 jobs, roughly $350 million of personal income, $420 million of gross state product," Economist Bryce Ward said at the state Capitol yesterday, presenting a follow-up to his April study on Medicaid expansion.

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