FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, Governor’s Office, (406) 444-9725
Nearly 5,500 Montanans already signed up for the state’s new healthcare plan
Helena, Mont. -- Governor Steve Bullock announced today that roughly 5,500 Montanans have already signed up for the Montana HELP Plan that will extend healthcare to thousands of state residents.
Bullock announced only one week ago that Montana’s plan to extend health coverage to thousands of the state’s residents had received federal approval.
“High enrollment in the HELP Plan in its first week shows just how critical the need for quality, affordable health care is for Montanans,” Bullock said. “With each Montanan who signs up we’re not only extending health coverage, we’re also supporting our rural hospitals, bringing our tax dollars home, and reducing the cost shifting that drives up costs for those of us with private insurance.”
Coverage begins in January of 2016. For more information on enrolling, go to the DPHHS website at healthcare.mt.gov.
Several Montanans who have already applied for coverage praised the program:
“The HELP Plan is literally going to save my life,” said Donna Pliler of Bozeman. “No longer will I have to make the choice between the medical care I need and the coverage I can afford. I’m thankful for the efforts of Governor Bullock and all who worked to make this plan a reality, and hope that all eligible Montanans will take advantage of it.”
“As a home health worker I care every day for my neighbors, but previously was unable to access healthcare for myself,” said Celeste Thompson of Missoula. “Through the HELP Plan I was able to quickly and easily get healthcare that will ensure I can get medical care that will allow me to continue to work.”
There are multiple ways to apply for coverage:
- Online: healthcare.mt.gov
- Phone: Over the phone at the Federal Marketplace at 1–800–318–2596, available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week
- In Person: Montanans can go to any local community health centers or Office of Public Assistance.
DPHHS is partnering with private sector and community health care providers to get information out to eligible Montanans about how to apply for the new health plan.
Bullock signed the bipartisan Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Act into state law on April 29, 2015, making Montana the only state this year to pass healthcare expansion legislatively this year. Federal approval was required before the new law could move forward.