health insurance

Governor Bullock & Pam Bucy launching the HELP-Link program Feb. 08, 2015 in Great Falls.
Corin Cates-Carney

On Monday, the next phase of Montana’s Medicaid expansion was announced at a job service center in Great Falls. Expanding Medicaid under the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act was a hard sell to Montana Republicans in the 2015 legislature until Republican Senator Ed Buttrey introduced a workforce initiative into the healthcare bill, among other changes.

Montana capitol
William Marcus

Montana Legislators are sending a letter to their U.S. congressional delegation urging for changes in federal aviation laws. Montana’s Economic Affairs Interim Committee voted today to send a letter asking Senators Tester and Daines and Congressman Zinke to revise the federal Airline Deregulation Act in order to protect patients from crippling air ambulance bills.

Air ambulance bills often have a price tag in the five figure range. Patients' shock over the cost of emergency medical transport has recently turned into complaints filed to the auditor’s office.
Flickr user arbyreed (CC-BY-NC-2)

Air ambulance and health insurance companies took turns blaming each other Thursday for costly but lifesaving air ambulance flights in Montana. The accusations flew during a legislative committee hearing.

UM economist Bryce Ward says Montana will need 16,000 additional healthcare workers by 2025.
(PD)

Growing demand for healthcare means that Montana is going to need 40 percent more healthcare workers in a decade than it has now. That’s according to University of Montana Economist Bryce Ward. He says that just to meet the projected growth in demand, the state will need 7,000 more healthcare workers by 2025.

Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen
Courtesy Monica Lindeen

The deadline for buying 2016 health insurance through healthcare.gov is days away. And Montana’s Commissioner of Insurance warns that consumers should study up on the plan they’re thinking about buying, because the wrong plan could result in a fine.

New West Health Services is sending out notices to 25,000 customers after a data breach that potentially exposed the personal information of current and former New West customers.
(PD)

New West Health Services is sending out notices to 25,000 customers after a data breach that potentially exposed the personal information of current and former New West customers.

Today* is the deadline to buy health insurance on HealthCare.gov for coverage that starts on January 1. The White House has targeted 20 places around the country with high uninsured rates, offering the one that improves the most a visit from President Obama. Great Falls is in the competition. Earlier today I spoke with White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett about today’s deadline to sign up for health coverage.

U.S. Capitol
flickr user Tim Evanson (CC-BY-SA-2)

Montana’s senators split on yesterday’s vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the first time the Senate has voted to repeal the law since it passed five years ago. The House has voted to repeal it dozens of times, and is expected to confirm the Senate vote soon. The bill faces certain veto by President Obama, a veto Republicans don’t have the votes to override.

Medicaid expansion is coming to Montana but some lawmakers are still debating it.

At a hearing of the oversight committee that's keeping tabs on the state’s effort to ramp-up its new health coverage, Bozeman Republican Tom Burnett — a House member who voted against the plan — stood up to say that state officials weren’t living up to the legislature’s goals.

After an initial rush, the rate of people signing up for the state's Medicaid expansion program has slowed as health care officials prepare for next month's rollout.

Pages