MBPC’s Submits Public Comment on Montana’s Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver

Contact:        Heather O’Loughlin, 406-868-3438 (cell), holoughlin@montanabudget.org

Today, the Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) submitted its formal comment on Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services’ (DPHHS) proposed demonstration waiver, to extend health care coverage to individuals in Montana with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty line. The draft waiver has been proposed in conjunction with the passage of the Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act by the 64th Legislature. The complete comment document submitted can be found here.

Highlights from the comment:

MBPC expresses strong support for the waiver approval and reminds the Department why the waiver matters to Montana. “This effort will move Montana closer toward closing the coverage gap, reducing uncompensated care, and injecting billions in taxpayer dollars into our local economies. The HELP Act represents a hard fought and intensely negotiated measure to get the health care coverage that tens of thousands of Montanans desperately need.”

MBPC emphasizes that Montana’s waiver is well within the scope of other state waivers previously approved by CMS. “Most notably, CMS approved the state of Indiana’s plan in February 2015 (during Montana’s legislative session). . . . CMS’ approval of Indiana’s waiver set the stage for the intense, political negotiations among policymakers in the state of Montana that resulted in the enactment of the bipartisan Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act. It is in this context that Montana proposes this waiver.”

MBPC’s urges DPHHS to provide clear guidance on the exemption from the Third-Party Administered program, to utilize evidence-based processes for those determinations, and effectively to collect and report enrollment data during the demonstration term.

The Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) is a nonprofit organization providing in-depth research and analysis on budget, tax, and economic issues. Our core focus is publishing credible, timely, and easy-to-understand reports on the fiscal policies that most impact low and moderate income Montanans. Our research and analysis then informs public policy, the media and the broader public. To learn more about MBPC, visit our website www.mbadmin.jaunt.cloud.

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