Medicaid Expansion

Montana’s Medicaid expansion now covers more than 92,000 people. Its future was in question earlier this year when state lawmakers debated whether to continue it, and if so, how.

Conservative lawmakers campaigned to scrap expansion altogether. More moderate Republicans pushed for adding work requirements for enrollees — something not allowed under the Obama administration but OK'd by President Trump.

Three states in the Mountain West have ballot initiatives this November focused on expanding access to Medicaid. Over time, these traditionally Republican states appear to have warmed to a program originally linked to the Affordable Care Act.

Jackie Yamanaka/YPR

Governor Steve Bullock is making stops in communities across the state to campaign on behalf of a tobacco tax ballot initiative. Monday he was in Billings to promote Initiative 185 that seeks to raising money for for Montana’s Medicaid-expansion program and remove the sunset that ends the program in June.

Idaho and Utah voters will decide whether to expand Medicaid at the ballot this November. Those voters might want to look at a report out this week that assessed how the expansion of the federal health care program played out. 

Idaho officially joined Utah today as the third state to try to expand Medicaid by ballot initiative.

Sonia Belviso, Flkr: https://goo.gl/JU534H

Editor's note: A group named in the complaint responded to YPR's request for comment Monday night. This story was updated to reflect the emailed response.  

Jackie Yamanaka

Governor Steve Bullock is touring Montana to listen to providers about the health and economic impacts of the state’s Medicaid Expansion program, also known as the HELP Act. It’s set to expire at the end of next year unless the 2019 Montana Legislature acts.

In Montana, Medicaid's Uncertain Future Stirs Worry

May 31, 2017
(Flickr/Herry Lawford) (https://flic.kr/p/aF1xsr)

As one of the states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, more than 77,000 Montanans now have access to healthcare, and more than 11,000 of those with coverage are Native American.

Yesterday I spoke with the Republican candidate for Montana's US House seat, Greg Gianforte.

ERIC WHITNEY: When we last talked to you about the House healthcare bill, last Thursday, that was the day the House passed the bill, at the time you told us you need a little more time to study it before you could say whether you would have voted for it. So, would you have voted for the House bill?

Legislative Services

Clarification and correction:  Jake Troyer of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry clarified the pilot audit as part of the HELP Act identified fraud instances in the Unemployment Insurance Program.

Montana identified over $830,000 in Medicaid payments that went out to people who don’t deserve the federal-state healthcare program aimed at helping the working poor.  

Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, known as the HELP Act, was passed by the 2015 Montana Legislature and signed into law. It contained a provision to tackle waste, fraud and abuse.