MTPR

Medicaid

The percentages of Americans and Montanans without health insurance 2009-2016
Montana Healthcare Foundation

A report being released today says Montana’s uninsured rate is staying steady at about half of what it was before Medicaid expansion started in 2016. It says just under eight percent of Montanans now lack health insurance.

And, one of the studies outlines what it says are clear benefits to the state as voters and state lawmakers are considering whether to end Medicaid expansion.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana health officials are undecided on what to do two days after a judge ordered them to reinstate last year's Medicaid reimbursement rates.

Department of Public Health and Human Services spokesman Chuck Council said Friday that health department leaders are still analyzing District Judge Jim Reynolds' order in the lawsuit by the Montana Health Care Association and companies that own nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in the state.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Montana Medicaid Provider Cuts

Jun 13, 2018

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Helena judge ordered Montana health officials on Wednesday to temporarily reinstate last year's Medicaid reimbursement rates after a group of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities challenged state rate cuts.

The order issued by District Judge James Reynolds says the Department of Public Health and Human Services must not apply the reduced rates for reimbursements to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities that provide services to Medicaid patients.

Editor's note: state Disistrict Judge James Reynolds issued a temporary restraining order on June 13, 2018 ordering the state to pay the Medicaid Reimbursement rate in effect before January 1, 2018.

The Montana Health Care Association and some of its members filed suit today in state District Court in Helena to stop state cuts to their Medicaid reimbursement rate.

Office of the governor, budget and program planning.
William Marcus

Budgets within Montana’s state health department and office of public defender are busted.

Lawmakers in the Legislative Finance Committee Wednesday debated a proposal from Governor Steve Bullock to borrow more than $23 million from next year’s budget to pay for the state’s current financial troubles.

Governor Steve Bullock launched a statewide tour today to, in his words, "highlight the health and economic benefits of Medicaid" in Montana.

At Missoula’s Providence Hospital, Bullock cited a University of Montana economic analysis released last week that says the Medicaid expansion Montana launched in 2015 will pay for itself. It found that expansion offsets other state agency costs, and yields economic benefits that exceed state spending on Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid expansion in Montana is expected to cost the state more than $58 million annually in a couple of years. But, a new economic analysis says the healthcare program in on track to pay for itself by then through savings in other parts of the state budget and increased economic activity.

Gov. Bullock signs the Medicaid expansion plan into law, April 29, 2015 at the state Capitol. The bill's sponsor Sen. Ed Buttrey, and supporter Stephanie Wallace look on.
Steve Jess

Governor Steve Bullock is praising a new report outlining the economic benefits of Medicaid expansion in Montana. The program expanding health insurance coverage for people with low incomes is set to expire next year unless it’s reauthorized by state lawmakers.

Helena Industries, a non-profit which provides services for hundreds of people in with disabilities is closing, and plans to file for bankruptcy in the wake of state budget cuts to Medicaid programs.

Helena Industries provides job training, work opportunities and case management services for people in Helena, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, and Anaconda.

Eric Whitney

The number of people being held in institutions due to mental disorders in Missoula County has spiked by more than 30-percent in the wake of statewide budget cuts for social services.

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