At its first meeting in June 2017, the Children and Families Committee decided to devote a substantial amount of time to reviewing Montana's Medicaid expansion program. The program will terminate on June 30, 2019, unless the next Legislature decides to extend the program. The committee adopted a schedule of activities at its September 2017 meeting. Members asked specifically to to review demographic and cost data related to individuals who qualified for Medicaid under the expanded program, as well as the workforce development aspects of the program.
Legislators in 2015 passed Senate Bill 405, the Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act, to authorize expansion of the Medicaid program as allowed under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Among other things, SB 405:
required that expansion enrollees pay a premium equal to 2% of their income;
required that enrollees with incomes of 101% to 138% of the federal poverty level be disenrolled from Medicaid if they failed to pay premiums;
required enrollees to pay a "taxpayer integrity fee" if their assets exceeded a certain level;
required the state to use a third-party administrator to administer the expansion program and create a network of providers for expansion enrollees to use; and
gave enrollees the option of participating in wellness and workforce development activities.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services limited the premium and TPA requirements to people with incomes above 50% of poverty.