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Montana Healthcare

Montana's New Healthcare Plan

Policymakers and News Media

On April 29, 2015, Governor Steve Bullock signed into law Senate Bill 405, an Act establishing the Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership (HELP) Plan to expand health coverage in Montana to an estimated 70,000 new adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Coverage began January 1, 2016. The HELP Plan offers medical, behavioral health, dental, vision, prescription drug benefits, and much more. The HELP Plan works to keep you healthy, not just treat you when you are sick.

As part of the HELP Act, various other provisions are also required including the creation of the HELP Act Oversight Committee and enrollment progress reports.

HELP Program proposed Administrative Rule Notices

Medicaid Expansion (HELP Act) SB405

Medicaid Expansion (HELP Act) Oversight Committee

SB 405 establishes a Montana HELP Act oversight committee which is to meet at least quarterly. The committee consists of nine voting members, including legislative members, industry experts, a representative of the state auditor’s office, and a member of the general public or staff member of the Governor’s Office.

The presiding officer shall establish the meeting schedule.  Members serve four-year terms.

The Committee is to generally review the implementation of the programs established in the HELP Act. The committee shall prepare a final report to the governor and to the legislative finance committee no later than August 15 of each even-numbered year.


2017 meetings

September 27, 2017


July 31, 2017



2016 meetings

Nov. 22, 2016

July 13, 2016

March 22, 2016

2015 meetings

December 1, 2015

August 17, 2015

Committee Members

Voting members

  • John Goodnow, Great Falls. Qualification: Representative of a hospital. Goodnow is CEO of Benefis Health System.
  • Dr. David Mark, Hardin. Qualification: Primary Care Physician. Mark is the Co-Founder and CEO, as well as a Staff Physician for Bighorn Valley Health Center.
  • Cherie Taylor, Cut Bank. Qualification: Representative of a critical access hospital. Taylor is CEO of Northern Rockies Medical Center.
  • Rep. Kirk Wagoner, Montana City. Qualification: A legislator appointed by the Speaker of the House. Wagoner is a business owner from Jefferson County
  • Jessica Rhoades, Helena. Qualification: Member of the general public or staff member of the Governor’s Office. Rhoades is the Governor’s Health and Families Policy Advisor.
  • Sen. Bob Keenan, Bigfork. Qualification: A legislator appointed by the President of the Senate. Keenan is a businessman from Big Fork.
  • Rep. Kim Abbott, Helena. Qualification:  A legislator appointed by the House Minority Leader.  Abbott is a community advocate in Helena.
  • Sen. Mary Caferro, Helena. Qualification: A legislator appointed by the Senate Minority Leader. Caferro is The Arc Montana coordinator.
  • Kris Hansen, Helena. Qualification:  Representative of the State Auditor's Office.

Ex-officio, non-voting members

  • Senator Edward Buttrey, Great Falls. Qualification: Buttrey is the bill sponsor and a state Senator from Great Falls.
  • Marie Matthews, Helena. Qualification: Matthews is the DPHHS Medicaid Director.
  • Scott Eychner, Helena. Qualification: Eychner is an employee of the  Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
  • Heather O’Loughlin, Helena. Qualification: O’Loughlin is the Co-Director of the Montana Budget and Policy Center.
  • Barbara Schneeman, Billings. Qualification: Schneeman is the Vice President, Communication & Public Affairs for RiverStone Health.
  • Peg Hasner, Helena. Qualification:  Hanser is an employee of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana.

DPHHS Contract with BCBSMT for Montana HELP Program

Contact Us

For questions about the HELP Act progress reports or the Oversight Committee contact:

DPHHS Public Information Officer Jon Ebelt
(406) 444-0936

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