Magazine article Policy & Practice

Medicaid Coverage at Its Highest Level Ever in Montana

Magazine article Policy & Practice

Medicaid Coverage at Its Highest Level Ever in Montana

Article excerpt

HELENA, Mont. -- Medicaid covers about 99,600 people in Montana--its highest level ever. The economic recession has swelled the ranks of the program, which is one of the largest single expenditures in the state budget. For the 2010-11 biennium, the legislature budgeted $1.75 billion for Medicaid, or nearly $900 million a year. The state covers anywhere from one-fourth to one-third of the cost. Under federal health care reform, Medicaid will be expanded in 2014 to cover everyone who makes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, that's about $29,000 for a family of four and $14,400 for a single person. The Schweitzer administration is considering whether to hire a private company to "manage" part of Medicaid's coverage. Medicaid in Montana already has some level of managed care for many of its patients, but that care is not managed by one, large private company. Under the Passport program, the state pays physicians a per-patient fee to manage care for many Medicaid-covered patients. …

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