Montana is 30th state to accept ObamaCare Medicaid expansion

Greg Nash

Montana officially became the 30th state to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare on Monday when the Obama administration approved its expansion plan.

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In April, Montana’s Republican legislature approved Medicaid expansion, but like other Republican-controlled states, it made some changes to put a conservative twist on the program.

The Obama administration needed to approve those changes, which include making beneficiaries pay premiums up to 2 percent of their income, and on Monday it signed off.

“This agreement will bring much needed access to healthcare coverage to more than 70,000 low-income Montanans,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement. 

ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid increases eligibility up to 138 percent of the poverty line, about $33,000 for a family of four.

While 30 states have now accepted expansion, others, largely led by Republicans, remain resistant, often worrying that the program will cost too much.

The administration has urged more states to accept the expansion, and Burwell again emphasized Monday that the administration is willing to compromise.

“The administration looks forward to working with other states to expand Medicaid by designing programs that meet state’s needs while providing needed services to residents and significant economic benefits to states,” Burwell said.

Of the remaining 20 states, Utah had been seen as the one most likely to adopt expansion next, but a compromise agreement among state Republican leaders fell apart this month in the face of opposition from Republicans in the state House of Representatives.