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PNS Daily Newscast - September 18, 2018 


Kavanaugh now expected to meet his accuser at an open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Also on the Tuesday rundown: An Albany rally calls for a million solar households; and #GetCaughtReading – a weeklong campaign for readers of all ages.

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Options for Montanans on ACA Deadline Day

PHOTO: About 23,000 Montanans have enrolled for coverage in the health insurance Marketplace, and today is the final day to sign up, with some exceptions. Credit: Deborah C. Smith
PHOTO: About 23,000 Montanans have enrolled for coverage in the health insurance Marketplace, and today is the final day to sign up, with some exceptions. Credit: Deborah C. Smith
March 31, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. - This is deadline day for most Montanans to begin the sign-up process for the health-insurance requirement under the Affordable Care Act. About 23,000 Montanans have inked deals so far, according to Jen Gross at Planned Parenthood of Montana, who is a Certified Navigator for the Marketplace. She said her experience has been that Montanans like to speak with someone, rather than go through the process online-only.

"In some cases, people just have questions; a good number of people, though, actually do like to come in and sit down with a navigator or certified application counselor and get that one-on-one assistance."

Gross said details on how to reach someone for personal assistance are at MontanaHealthAnswers.com. Enrollment doesn't have to be finalized for two more weeks, as long as the process begins by midnight tonight. Married victims of domestic violence have until May 31, because of recent tax code changes.

Gross, who has been doing outreach in Indian Country, said the provisions of the ACA are different for tribal members.

"One of the benefits is year-round enrollment," she said. "So members of federally-recognized tribes are not subject to the March 31 deadline, so that gives us a little extra time to get out into Indian Country."

Gross added that some Montanans have been disappointed that they don't qualify for subsidies. That can happen if they make too much money, but she said the more common circumstance is that Montanans don't make enough. That's the story for about 40,000 of them. In those cases, people are not penalized and Gross said she hopes coverage will be extended in the future. Montana would have to accept federal Medicaid money for that to happen.



Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT