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Increased grant funding will help Montanans lacking health insurance


A record level of funding is available to help Montanans shop for health insurance options in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Montana is among 30 states where organizations were awarded grants from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help uninsured people find health coverage.

Olivia Riutta is with the Montana Primary Care Association, which received a $1 million navigator grant.

“We’ve never seen this level of investment and it’s super exciting,” she said.

Funding for so-called “navigators,” people trained in helping consumers understand the marketplace, was reduced under former President Donald Trump and is now expanding under President Joe Biden.

About 40,000 to 50,000 Montanans got insurance through the marketplace in each of the last five years.

The open enrollment period is open from Nov. 1 to Jan. 15.

According to a report commissioned by the Northern Montana Health Care Foundation, an estimated 9.3% of Montanans were uninsured last year. That’s down from 2013, when around 20% of the population didn’t have health insurance.
Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Corin Cates-Carney is the Flathead Valley reporter for MTPR.