HELENA – Healthcare professionals, lawmakers, and children’s health advocates gathered at the State Capitol on Thursday, April 4 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Healthy Montana Kids Plan Act (HMK).
In 2008 329,000 Montana voters, about 70 percent, voted in favor of I-155 which created HMK.
The ballot initiative expanded child care coverage by increasing the CHIP eligibility to 250 percent of the federal poverty level and made is so Montana Medicaid program could enroll kids up to 185 percent of the poverty level.
I-155 also established an automatic enrollment mechanism and required parents to register their children if they were not covered by an insurance plan.
“Without programs like Healthy Montana Kids and Montana’s Medicaid expansion there would be a significant portion of Montanans who don’t have access to affordable healthcare. As it is Montanans un-insurance rate is very low and we’re very pleased for programs like this that do that,” said Marie Matthews, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) State Medicaid Director.
According to DPHHS, more than 120,000 children across Montana currently benefit from the Healthy Montana Kids Plan program.