Medicaid Expansion and Montana Veterans

Medicaid Expansion and Montana Veterans – New Coverage Options  

Montana has the highest percentage of uninsured veterans in the nation, but not all veterans are eligible to receive health care through the VA. Additionally, Veterans who are VA eligible don’t always have full coverage. Montana’s new Medicaid expansion provides another option for eligible Veterans and helps them receive healthcare when and where it works best for them. Find our more about expanded Medicaid and how to apply.

Common Questions and Answers about Montana Veterans and Expanded Medicaid:

 

  • Can I Qualify for Medicaid Expansion Even if I Qualify for Services from the VA?

    • Yes! You can receive VA services and still be eligible for full health care benefits under the HELP Plan and Montana Medicaid.
    • Check out the Medicaid expansion eligibility chart for you, your family size, and annual income.
    • Remember, your VA benefit payments do not count toward the income limit. 
    • You must also be a Montana resident, between the ages of 19 and 64, and not eligible for Medicare.
    • Expanded Medicaid can help eligible Veterans and their families get access to comprehensive, affordable healthcare.
  • Why Does the Medicaid Application Ask Me if I have TRICARE or VA Health Care?
    • This question just helps determine who pays for your healthcare, but your answers will not affect your eligibility for Montana Medicaid.
  • What Services Are Covered Under Montana Medicaid? Is it good coverage? 
    • The short answer is, yes! Montana Medicaid covers all of the essentials including:  
      • Wellness Programs
      • Preventative Services
      • Outpatient Services
      • Emergency Services
      • Hospitalization Services
      • Laboratory and X-Ray Services
      • Maternity and Newborn Services
      • Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services
      • Prescription Drug Services
      • Vision and Dental
  • What Healthcare Providers Can I Use with My Coverage?
    • Under expanded Medicaid, you will have access to a statewide network of primary care doctors, specialists, and hospitals. Depending on income level, Montana Veterans access networks through either Montana Medicaid or Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana.
  • Do I Have to Pay for Services Under the HELP Plan?
    • You may have to pay a small monthly premium depending on your income. You may also have small copays for health care visits and services. Prevention services such as health screenings, flu shots, and help to quit smoking do not have copays. You will never have to pay more than 5% of your income for premiums or copays.
  • Shouldn’t Montana Veterans Be Getting Health Care from the VA?
    • Not all veterans are eligible for VA services. The Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) considers a veteran’s active duty status, condition of discharge, and length of service in determining eligibility for health care services. The VA uses eight priority groups that determine a veteran’s eligibility and priority for using health care services. For example, depending on a veteran’s priority group, if a veteran who drove a tank was classified as 10% disabled due to hearing loss from tank noise, the VA will provide care for hearing loss but not provide health care if that veteran needs a gall bladder surgery. In addition, veterans in Montana’s rural communities are often located far from VA facilities.
    • Even if a Veteran is getting services from the VA, they can still apply for, enroll in, and utilize Medicaid coverage as long as they meet the Medicaid eligibility requirements. Veterans don’t have to choose between Medicaid or the VA. The HELP Plan and Medicaid Expansion provides eligible veterans with access to local providers and ongoing primary care and treatment. Veterans receiving care from the VA can continue to do so. Finally, enrollment in expanded Medicaid does not limit a veterans’ ability to seek and receive VA services.

Ready to find out more? Great, help is just around the corner. Local enrollment assisters are available across Montana and can help your apply for and understand your Montana Medicaid coverage. Find someone near you – their help is always free and confidential.

You can also apply on your own at Healthcare.gov, on Apply.MT.gov, over the phone: 1-800-318-2596, or in-person at your local Office of Public Assistance.