HELENA – Healthcare professionals, lawmakers, and children’s health advocates gathered at the State Capitol on Thursday to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Healthy Montana Kids Plan Act (HMK).
Montanans voted in favor of I-155 to create HMK in 2008. The ballot initiative expanded child care coverage by increasing the CHIP eligibility to 250% percent of the federal poverty level and made is so Montana Medicaid program could enroll kids up to 185% of the poverty level.
I-155 also established an automatic enrollment mechanism and required parents to register their children if they were not covered by an insurance plan.
“Without programs like Healthy Montana Kids and Montana’s Medicaid expansion, there would be a significant portion of Montanans who don’t have access to affordable healthcare,” Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) State Medicaid Director Marie Matthews said. “As it is Montanans un-insurance rate is very low and we’re very pleased for programs like this that do that.”
DPHHS reports that more than 120,000 children across Montana currently benefit from the Healthy Montana Kids Plan program.