July 1, 2010                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

New program for the uninsured begins in Montana


      Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica J. Lindeen encourages enrollment in new insurance program for the uninsured or to consider an existing program, like Insure Montana or Healthy MT Kids for coverage
      
      Helena, MT,– Montanans with pre-existing conditions who are seeking affordable, high-quality health benefits are strongly encouraged to contact the Montana Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA), which will begin accepting applications for the Montana Affordable Care (MAC) plan, a new federal high risk health insurance pool program that is part of the federal health care reform law.
      
      “Montanans who think they may be eligible for the new program should act fast. Spots are limited and we want those most in need to get coverage,” said Monica Lindeen, Montana’s Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. “The new Montana Affordable Care plan is a good alternative for people who have been uninsured for more than six months and have not been able to access coverage elsewhere. If you are not eligible for MAC, but own a small business please consider checking out tax credits available from the federal government and locally from Insure Montana. As always, parents should look into the Healthy Montana Kids program to cover kids under 19 years old.”
      
      To learn more about:
      
      • Health care benefits provided by the Montana Comprehensive Health Association, including the new Montana Affordable Care Plan, please refer to: www.mthealth.org or call 1-800-447-7828, ext. 2128.
      
      • Health care benefits for children and teenagers via the Healthy Montana Kids program, please refer to: hmk.mt.gov or 1-877-543-7669.
      
      • Small business health insurance programs and tax credits provided by Insure Montana, please refer to: http://sao.mt.gov/InsureMontana/index.asp or 1-800-332-6148.
      
      • Small business tax credit for health insurance from the Federal Government, please refer to: www.irs.gov.
      
      Commissioner Lindeen’s remarks were made during the launch of the new Montana Affordable Care plan today. The MAC plan will be administered by the MCHA along with other high-risk pool health benefit alternatives for uninsured individuals.
      
      To qualify for the new MAC plan, an individual must be a citizen or national of the United States, or lawfully present, must be a Montana resident, must have a preexisting medical condition and must have been uninsured for at least 6 months before applying for the federal program. Enrollment in the federal MAC Plan is limited and on a first-come basis. The federal MAC Plan is funded by the premiums paid by insured people and funding authorized by the federal government. If the federal funding is exhausted, insured people may move to an MCHA traditional plan of the insured’s choice. The insured will need to pay the full MCHA premium for that coverage.
      
      The new MAC Plan has the following features:
      Deductible: $2,500;
      Premium: Monthly premiums range from $190-$615 depending on age of applicant
      Coinsurance: 70/30 (In network) and 50/50 (Out of network);
      Maximum Annual Liability: $5,950 (Prescription drug copayments WILL apply to the maximum annual liability amount (out of pocket maximum.)
      How to Apply: Applicants must complete the MCHA Traditional Plan/Federal High Risk Pool Application. Applicants will need to provide documentation of citizenship, Montana residency, and proof of a pre-existing condition or coverage which excludes benefits for a pre-existing condition. Please see the application for the full requirements for making application for the plan.
      
      As Montana’s Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Monica J. Lindeen serves as watchdog for the citizens of Montana in the insurance and securities industries. The Commissioner of Securities and Insurance's office is a criminal justice agency charged with protecting Montana's consumers through insurance and securities regulation and also through informing the public about insurance and securities issues. More information is available at: http://www.csi.mt.gov/