Medicaid

Could a Japanese-style elder care insurance program work in Montana?

Jul 9, 2020
Seniors take part in an exercise class at the Missoula Family YMCA in this file photo from 2019.
Tom Bauer / Missoulian

Last week in Graying Pains, the Missoulian’s David Erickson examined the introduction and implementation of Kaigo Hoken, or care insurance, in Japan, the world’s demographically oldest country. This week’s conclusion of that story explores how a similar policy might translate to Montana, the oldest state in the American West.

A full 13% of Montanans are in their 60s, and the “baby boomer” generation is nearing or entering retirement age. Care for the elderly will become an increasingly pressing issue in Montana as larger and larger numbers of voters enter the older brackets of the state’s demographics.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester holds a Facebook town hall to discuss health care on June 30, 2020.
Kevin Trevellyan/Yellowstone Public Radio

 

U.S. Senator Jon Tester joined other congressional Democrats this week in rebuking the Trump administration's latest attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. 

Telehealth virutal home screen
Sofia Stuart-Rasi

This story is part of a series that looks at potentially lasting ways Montana adapted during the pandemic. It’s funded in part by the Solutions Journalism Network. 

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began advising against face to face interactions, Montana healthcare providers sought to expand non emergency telehealth appointments. It's a trend that could keep going.

People sit well spaced along a large u-shaped table.
Kevin Trevellyan / Yellowstone Public Radio


Montana’s health department distributed between $84 million and $163 million in Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Program benefits to people ineligible for those programs, according to an audit presented to lawmakers June 16. State officials emphatically reject several of the audit’s key findings.

Mail ballots for Montana's June 2 primary go out this Friday. This weekend, Democrats and Republicans vying for Montana's governor's seat faced off in a virtual debate hosted by the Montana Broadcasters Association. Corin Cates-Carney, with the help of Nicky Ouellet, recap the gubernatorial debate.

Montana’s June 2 primary election is less than a month off, and candidates are busy carving out positions, and campaigning as best they can during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of them participated in last Thursday's online forum discussing what health care providers say is the state’s rapidly deteriorating behavioral health system.

Rep. Greg Gianforte (R)-Montana
(PD)

This week we are airing conversations with some of the candidates running for Montana governor as the June 2 primary approaches.

Republican Greg Gianforte has been Montana’s U.S. Representative since 2017. He spoke with YPR New’s Jess Sheldahl this week about why he came to Montana, his business experience, and the Affordable Care Act.

Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney.
State of Montana / State of Montana

 

This week we are airing conversations with some of the candidates running for Montana governor as the June 2 primary approaches.

Lt. Governor Mike Cooney, a Democrat, has been an elected official in one capacity or another in Montana since the '70s. He spoke with YPR New's Jess Sheldahl this week about his experience in state government, healthcare and his campaign.

Montana is suing several tobacco companies for allegedly withholding millions of dollars owed the state under a landmark tobacco settlement agreement.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said enough is enough. Fox, who’s seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, announced Monday his office is suing several tobacco companies for allegedly withholding $43 million from Montana.

Graeme Paterson / Flickr / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Doctors are now cleared to check in with patients over the phone as part of the effort to minimize the number of people in health care facilities. Private health insurance companies and Medicaid are relaxing telemedicine requirements during the coronavirus pandemic.

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