For Immediate Release
Aug. 28, 2015
Contact: Sue O'Connell, Legislative Research Analyst, 406-444-3597
Legislative Committee to Start Work on Studies, Review Medicaid Expansion Waiver
The Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee will begin work on three studies and review the state's proposal for expanding the Montana Medicaid program when it meets Sept. 14 in Helena.
The committee is required by law to review applications that the state submits for certain types of waivers from federal Medicaid law. The state plans to submit a waiver application on Sept. 15 to allow it to put into effect several aspects of Senate Bill 405 that differ from federal Medicaid law. SB 405 authorized expanding the Medicaid program to adults between the ages of 18 and 65 who have incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. However, SB 405 also requires that those individuals pay a small percentage of their income for premiums and co-payments on medical bills.
Committee members may offer comment on the proposed waiver during the meeting.
Also at the meeting, the committee will:
- learn about Montana's system of children's mental health services, to lay the groundwork for the House Bill 422 study of evidence-based outcomes for those services;
- hear how some of the new money appropriated for community-based mental health services is being spent, to fulfill the SB 418 requirement that the committee monitor use of the funds during the interim; and
- learn about Montana guardianship laws and state programs related to those laws, for the Senate Joint Resolution 22 study of guardianship laws and services.
Members also will review a revised SJR 22 study plan that reflects their decision in June to expand the study to include topics related to Alzheimer's disease.
Members have been invited to an optional pre-meeting tour of the St. Peter's Hospital Behavioral Health Unit and a subsequent discussion with the unit's staff, as part of their work on Alzheimer's disease. The tour is limited to committee members, but the discussion will be open to the public. That meeting will begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13, at the St. Peter's Hospital Education Center, 2475 Broadway Ave.
The Sept. 14 meeting will begin at 8 a.m. in Room 137 of the Capitol.
For more information on the committee's activities and upcoming meeting, visit the committee's website at www.leg.mt.gov/cfhhs.