Healthcare

Next year, premiums for individual health insurance plans in Montana will go down for the first time since the Affordable Care Act took effect. Open enrollment starts Friday.

The roughly 50,000 Montanans who receive health coverage in the Affordable Care Act marketplace could see their premium bills drop by hundreds or thousands of dollars next year.

 Montana State nursing students Kelley Bryan and Sean Barbula review notes Friday, August 2, in Bozeman.
Kelly Gorham / Montana State University

While over half of Montana’s population is considered rural, about 40 percent of the state’s primary health care providers are based in just three cities. That means many people don’t get the care they need or have to travel long distances to find it. A new program aims to change this by giving nurses additional education specific to working in rural communities.

A new business coming to Kalispell says it intends to hire up to 100 people during its first year of operations. More than twice that number may eventually be hired on.

CEO Julie Hauk at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Montana
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

A medical center dedicated exclusively to injury rehabilitation opened in Billings this week. They say their facility is unique in the state.

On Monday, NPR’s Morning Edition aired a story about Plains resident Sov Valentine, who received a bill of more than half a million dollars for 14 weeks of dialysis at a Missoula clinic.

Thursday, Fresenius, the dialysis company that sent him the bill, said they would waive it.

Shaneformontana.com

This Sunday, State Representative Shane Morigeau (D-Missoula) entered the race to become Montana’s State Auditor. Affordable healthcare is at the forefront of his platform.

A PowerPoint slide shows how responders in the 2019 News Media Preferences and Issues survey ranked the issues they care about the most.
Courtesy of the Greater Montana Foundation and the UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

A new survey released Thursday shows Montanans value and trust local news sources, and the most important issues for rural and urban residents are pretty similar, including jobs and the state’s economy.

The ophthalmoscope (left) and stethoscope (right) are some of the tools a physican uses when checking a patient's health.
Adrian Clark / Flickr (CC BY-NA 2.0)

Bozeman’s city commissioners Monday unanimously approved the next step for a new ambulatory center in Montana’s fastest growing city. It’s an expansion of Billings Clinic, the largest health organization in the state.

Aerial view of Bozeman, 2008.
Jonesey/Flickr (CC-by-2.0)

The U.S. Census Bureau Deputy Director will host a panel in Bozeman Monday about the upcoming 2020 Census. The Census happens every ten years and there’s a lot at stake for Montana this time around — from federal funding to another congressional seat.

USDA/Public Domain

Democratic Senator Jon Tester hosted a town hall in Bozeman Tuesday where he answered questions about immigration, healthcare and climate change — among other hot topic issues.

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