Montanans may be newly eligible for Medicaid during this year’s sign-up for ObamaCare

Jan 26, 2016

Sunday is the deadline to enroll for health insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act for this year.

Kim Gillan is the Region 8 director for the federal Department of Health and Human Services office in Denver.

She says people perhaps may be confused about the multiple sign-up deadlines, “But January 31st is the drop dead date for Open Enrollment 3.”

Gillan says if people miss this deadline they likely won’t be able to get insurance for 2016 and are subject to the federal penalties for failing to have health insurance.

During enrollment, some Montanans might find out during this year’s enrollment they are now eligible for coverage under the state’s expanded Medicaid.

It was passed by the 2015 Montana Legislature and signed into law by Governor Steve Bullock.

Medicaid expansion largely will cover most of the people who found they earned too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid, but didn’t earn enough to qualify for any federal subsidies to buy health insurance.

Jade Jagers says in the past, these folks were in the gap.

“Folks who didn’t qualify for anything.”

Jagers is the advocate coordinator at Riverstone Health in Billings. She’s one of the navigators that helps Montanans enroll in the ACA, also known as ObamaCare.

“So they might have been told no they haven’t been eligible for the last 2 years but that has all changed since November first so that’s why we always encourage people, that maybe they had a negative experience for the last 2 years because they fell into that gap. That gap has pretty much been resolved.”

   Because of the pending deadline, a number of events are scheduled across Montana to help Montanans enroll.