MTPR

Medicaid expansion

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.

Timeline for HELP Program/Medicaid Expansion Waiver
Montana DPHHS

Friday was the deadline for public input on the Montana health department’s draft proposal to add work and community service requirements to the state’s health coverage program for low income adults.

At the end of the month, Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) plans to send the federal government the new outline of the state’s Medicaid expansion program, which covers around 90,000 people.

People line up to testify during a hearing on the revised Medicaid expansion bill at the Montana Legislature, March 16, 2019.
Montana Legislature

Plans to tie work requirements to next year’s Medicaid expansion are worrying some of the state’s Medicaid recipients, and they used Thursday’s public meeting in Helena to let state officials know.

Gov. Steve Bullock is joined by Rep. Mary Caferro, a Democrat from Helena, and Rep. Ed Buttrey, a Republican from Great Falls, and other lawmakers for the signing of HB 658, May 9, 2019. The bill reauthorizes the state's Medicaid expansion program.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

New analysis from the state health department shows the new Medicaid work requirements set to take effect on Jan. 1 will apply to more Montanans than expected — up to three times more.

More than 40 people came to the DPHHS hearing on Medicaid cuts Feb. 1, 2018 in Helena.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Montana’s Medicaid expansion now covers more than 92,000 people. Its future was in question earlier this year when state lawmakers debated whether to continue it, and if so, how.

Conservative lawmakers campaigned to scrap expansion altogether. More moderate Republicans pushed for adding work requirements for enrollees — something not allowed under the Obama administration but OK'd by President Trump.

Former State Rep. Austin Knudsen has announced his candidacy for Attorney General in the 2020 race.
Mike Albans / Montana Public Radio

Former Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen announced Monday that he is seeking the Republican nomination for Montana’s Attorney General race in 2020.

Knudsen served as a representative from Culbertson in the state Legislature from 2011 to 2017, serving as Speaker of the House during his last four years. He’s the second Republican to enter the Attorney General race.

Gov. Steve Bullock.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is the latest candidate to join the crowded field of Democrats vying to unseat President Trump in 2020. Bullock waited until the Montana Legislature ended to announce his long-rumored candidacy. Now he'll find out if his statewide popularity will translate to a national stage. Bullock spoke with MTPR's Sally Mauk about his just-launched campaign and why he'd rather be president than a U.S. senator, and his positions on some key national issues.

Gov. Steve Bullock is joined by Rep. Mary Caferro, a Democrat from Helena, and Rep. Ed Buttrey, a Republican from Great Falls, and other lawmakers for the signing of HB 658, May 9, 2019. The bill reauthorizes the state's Medicaid expansion program.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

New work and public service requirements for certain Medicaid expansion enrollees were signed into state law Thursday.

Gov. Steve Bullock signed a bill to continue and change the health coverage program for low income adults, during a crowded ceremony in the east wing the state Capitol.

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.

Pages