Eye on Healthcare

Feb 28, 2013 9:35 AM by Marnee Banks - MTN News

Bullock announces plan to expand Medicaid in MT

HELENA - Governor Steve Bullock (D) on Wednesday announced his plan to expand Medicaid in an effort to insure more low-income Montanans.

Bullock and State Representative Chuck Hunter (D-Helena) released draft language of the bill, which would add 70,000 Montanans to the Medicaid system.

A family of four making $32,000 a year, and a single person making $15,000 per year, would qualify for the government-run health insurance program.

"We know that those with insurance are more likely to visit a doctor instead of a high-cost hospital emergency room, if they are afforded that opportunity. Our plan will lead to greater access and a healthier population while reforming the way we deliver healthcare," Bullock said.

The bill also includes a plan to increase provider rates, implement a patient-centered medical home program, and expand the medical residency program.

Representative Hunter will carry the bill in the House.

"We're glad to see the Governor's finally at the table and that he will soon introduce a bill laying out his proposal to expand Medicaid. It'll get a fair hearing, and we'll put it through the process that all bills go through," said Speaker of the House Mark Blasdel (R-Somers) in a statement.

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