Redesigning Medicaid in Montana

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to medical care. Disease prevention and early intervention is so much cheaper than treating a disease or injury after it has progressed.

Montana’s failure to redesign the Medicaid program has, for two years, allowed low-income, working Montanans to fall into a health care coverage gap that has left them economically and medically vulnerable. Over 70,000 of our friends, family members, and neighbors do not qualify for Medicaid, cannot afford private insurance, and have incomes too low to qualify for tax credits in the new health insurance marketplace.

Yes, you read that right… with incomes too low to qualify for coverage in the healthcare exchange.

The Healthy Montana Plan, HB 249, is currently the only introduced bill that would help redesign Montana’s Medicaid program to close this coverage gap. It creates a Montana-specific plan for better, more cost-effective health coverage while providing coverage to working Montanans with low incomes who cannot afford insurance under the current system.

Moreover, through 2016, 100% of the cost will be covered by the federal government. The federal share will then gradually settle to 90% in 2020 where it will then remain. HB 249 even includes a provision to end the changes if the federal share of costs drops below 90%.

The Healthy Montana Plan - HB 249 - is a responsible, commonsense Montana solution to closing the health care coverage gap. Let’s get this done.