Montana becomes 30th state to expand Medicaid: 5 things to know

The Obama administration approved Montana's Medicaid expansion plan on Monday, making it the 30th state to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act, according to The Hill.

Here are five things to know about Medicaid expansion in Montana.

1. In April, Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock signed the Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership Act into law, expanding Medicaid eligibility to about 70,000 low-income Montana residents.

2. Montana's expansion plan differs from traditional expansion under the ACA, as it requires those who enroll in the Medicaid program to pay premiums of up to 2 percent of their income and co-payments for certain services. Because of the changes, the program had to get a waiver from CMS before it could officially be put into place.

3. With the federal waiver approved, state officials can start enrollment under the expanded program immediately, according to a Billings Gazette report. Expanded coverage under the program will take effect Jan. 1.

4. Gov. Bullock showed excitement about the expansion plan receiving approval. "This is a victory that at times seemed uncertain, but never seemed unnecessary," he said, according to the Billings Gazette.

5. White Hose press secretary Josh Earnest was also enthusiastic about the state expanding its Medicaid program. "Montana has chosen to put people over politics, and we hope that the remaining states will join Montana and the other 29 states that have designed programs to meet the needs of their residents who need healthcare," he said in a statement.

More articles on Medicaid expansion:

4 things to know about Medicaid enrollment and spending growth in FY 2015 and 2016
Utah Medicaid expansion proposal fails
Rural hospitals in nonexpansion states at risk: 4 things to know

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