Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act
5:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Montana Sees Drop In Uninsured, Slowdown In Healthcare Spending

There are about three percent fewer Montanans without health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. That’s according to University of Montana Economist Bryce Ward. He says the ACA is responsible for even bigger drops in the number of uninsured in other states.

"If the ACA stays around, we expect to continue to see the share of people without health insurance declining over the next few years."

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Medicaid Expansion
10:52 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Medicaid's Western Push Hits Montana

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is giving Medicaid expansion another try.
Matt Volz AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 10:54 am

The Affordable Care Act is on the move in Western states, with the governors of Utah, Wyoming and Montana all working on deals with the Obama administration to expand Medicaid in ways tailored to each state.

But getting the federal stamp of approval is just the first hurdle. The governors also have to sell the change to their state legislators, who have their own ideas of how expansion should go.

The latest example is Montana, where the governor and the legislature have competing proposals about how much federal Medicaid expansion cash the state should try to bring in.

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Outpacing Last Year
4:10 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Insurance Commissioner's Office Pleased With ACA Enrollment

Montana Commissioner for Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen
Credit Montana CSI

Jennifer McKee from the office of the Montana Commissioner for Securities and Insurance talks with MTPR News Director Eric Whitney about the first tally of Montanans using Healthcare.gov to enroll in the Affordable Care Act.

    

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Gov. Steve Bullock
5:00 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Gov. Bullock Explains His 2015 Legislative Priorities

Montana governor Steve Bullock. (CC-BY-2.0)
Credit 2011 Century Council

Montana Governor Steve Bullock discusses Medicaid expansion, early-childhood education, infrastructure spending, the upcoming legislature, and more with "Home Ground" host Brian Kahn.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

Medicaid Expansion

Gov. Bullock says the "Healthy Montana" plan is a unique solution that will insure thousands of Montanans and help relieve the burden of uncompensated care on small hospitals.

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For Coverage Starting Jan. 1
4:38 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Enrollment Deadline For Affordable Care Act Approaching

Partnership Health Center, Missoula, MT
Credit Courtesy Partnership Health Center

An important deadline is fast approaching for those who want an Affordable Care Act health plan that takes effect on January first. Applicants must be enrolled by the end of business on Monday, December 15.

Those who've already signed up, but want to make last minute changes, face the same deadline.

Partnership Health Center's Sandra Mytty says she and her staff have helped lots of people in the Missoula area select policies.

"We're actually doing really well. Since we started we've helped over 350 people since November 15 and we're still going."

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BCBS Settlement
5:14 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

BCBS To Pay $1 Million To Settle Consumer Complaints

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana is paying $1 million to the state to settle more than three hundred consumer complaints.

State Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen says the complaints mostly came from people who bought policies on the new health insurance exchange last year. Lindeen says every insurance company had problems with the rollout, but the problems with Blue Cross-Blue Shield were extreme.

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Affordable Care Act
7:36 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Saturday Event Launches Health Insurance Sign-Ups

Lee Ann Johnson, director of the Missoula Indian Center, welcomes people to the enrollment event at Missoula County Fairgrounds Saturday.
Credit Eric Whitney

Saturday was the start of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for 2015. It’s is the second year most Americans will be required to have health insurance or face a tax penalty.

There were at least two events on Saturday in the MTPR listening area to help people shop for coverage, and investigate whether they qualify for a subsidy to help them afford it. One at the Great Falls Public Library, the other at Missoula County’s fairgrounds.

The Missoula Indian Center sponsored the event in Missoula, but it was open to anyone.

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Affordable Care Act
6:41 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Health Insurance Premiums Up Only Slightly In Montana

Montanans who buy their own health insurance, or who want to, can start buying policies for next year starting on Saturday. It’s the beginning of the Affordable Care Act’s second so-called “open enrollment” period.

The process will be similar to last year, but significantly different, says Adam Schafer, at the Montana insurance commissioner’s office.

"Folks should not experience the same problems that came up last year," he says.

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Mid-Term Election Coverage
5:01 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Curtis Takes Offensive Against Daines In Senate Debate

U.S. Senate candidates Steve Daines and Amanda Curtis met for their first and only televised debate in Billings on Oct. 20, 2014.

Republican Congressman Steve Daines didn't respond to Democrat Amanda Curtis's jabs during last night’s U.S. Senate debate in Billings.

Curtis said several times that Daines is too extreme for Montana and represents corporate interests over average Montanans. She says it's time to send a working-class Montanan to represent the state in Washington D.C.

Curtis also said Daines' vote last year to shut down the federal government during a budget stalemate hurt Montanans.

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Montana Legislature
9:40 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Democrats Hope To Shrink GOP Majorities In Montana Legislature

Democrats hope races in newly redrawn legislative districts could help them pick up seats this fall.

From the seat of his combine in the Helena Valley, Republican Senate candidate Joe Dooling talked about why he decided to run for the Legislature.

“I’m just wondering where all the grownups are,” he said.

The 2013 legislative session was marked by a split between conservatives and moderates in the Republican majority, at least one day of banging on tables and more than 70 vetoes from Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat. Dooling said he was frustrated by all of it.

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