Cover Montana and Cover Native Montana

Since 2013, Montana’s uninsured rate has dropped from 20% to 8.6%. This drop is largely due to new coverage options through the Health Insurance Marketplace and expanded Montana Medicaid.

The Cover Montana project works to connect Montanans who have questions about enrolling in health insurance options with a local enrollment assister who can walk them through the process. This is largely done through the Cover Montana website. Enrollment assisters are located at Health Centers, Urban Indian Health Centers, hospitals, Indian Health Service, Tribal Health, and other organizations.

MPCA facilitates the Cover Montana project and provides training and technical assistance to enrollment assisters from across Montana. Trainings are done via webinar and MPCA Population Health and Enabling Services Summit that happens in October. Stay in the loop, sign up for the Cover Montana email list.

Visit covermt.org here.

Cover Montana Trainings & Technical Assistance
Technical Assistance:

Cover Montana is here to support the SafeGuard Access Grant recipients and the broader outreach and enrollment stakeholder community. Here are some ways that Cover Montana can help:

  • Learn about outreach and enrollment updates and upcoming training opportunities through our regular email updates. Sign up here.
  • Answer questions about the Certified Application Counselor Training.
  • Answer enrollment-related questions and help get your most complicated questions answered!
  • Provide one-on-one coaching for new enrollment assisters.
  • Provide a webinar learning series, learn more and get registered below!
Outreach Resources:

Family Outreach

Native American Family Outreach

OE8 Poster

Trainings and Webinars:

Information about all Cover Montana and MPCA webinars is also available on the calendar.

Cover Montana Office Hours: Every Tuesday at 9am.
We’ll host Cover Montana Office Hours every Tuesday at 9am, from now throughout Open Enrollment. This is a space for assisters to connect, ask questions, and brainstorm answers. During October, some of the office hours will be dedicated to specific conversations. Register Here.

  • COMPLETE – Tuesday, September 22nd, 9am: OE8 Kickoff focused on training requirements – Find a recording of the webinar here.
  • COMPLETE – Tuesday, September 29th, 9am: Meet and greet for new enrollment assisters – This office hours was not recorded, email Olivia with questions
  • COMPLETE – Tuesday, October 6th, 9am: Best practices with outreach & in-reach
  • COMPLETE – Tuesday, October 20th, 9am: Medicare basics and the transition to Medicare

COMPLETE – Thursday, September 24th: 1pm – Nuts and Bolts of Medicaid & Healthy Montana Kids – Watch a recording & View the slides from 9 24 2020
Learn about the nuts of and bolts of Medicaid, Healthy Montana Kids, and Healthy Montana Kids Plus. We’ll dig into the application process, tips for helping folks apply, and how to best work with DPHHS when you run into issues.

  • One the webinar we discussed the 402 release that assisters may use

COMPLETE – Thursday, October 1st: 1pm – Projecting Income and Tax Credit Reconciliation in OE8 – Watch a recording & View the slides from 10 02 2020 
Join Cover Montana and the Montana Primary Care Association for a webinar focused on projecting Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) for Medicaid and Marketplace eligibility and Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) reconciliation.

COMPLETE – Thursday, October 15th: 9am – 12:30pm – Population Health Summit – Focus on Outreach and Enrollment – Register here.

The State of the ACA and OE8 – Slides and Recording

Virtual Outreach and Enrollment Workflow – Slides, Recording, and resources

COMPLETE – Thursday, October 22nd: 1pm – 2:00pm – Native American Provisions – Watch a recording & View the Slides
Join us for a deep dive into the ACA rules for Native Americans, enrolled members, & descendants! We’ll review the rules, the application process, and common questions and issues that arise when enrolling Indigenous people.

Thursday, October 29th: 1pm – 2pm – 2021 Marketplace Plans – Register here.
Join us for a conversation with the three Montana health insurance carriers selling plans on the Marketplace. Representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mountain Health COOP, and PacificSource will each share information about their 2021 plan and prices and answer questions.

More information on the SafeGuard Access Grants and Cover Montana

On July 30th, Governor Bullock announced a 1M investment in outreach and enrollment efforts to connect Montanans to coverage. You can read a copy of his press release here.

MPCA is excited to be working on this project and thrilled about the investment in outreach and enrollment efforts at health care providers across the state.

The plan has two components:

  1. The Montana Primary Care Association is receiving $300,000 to provide training, technical assistance, and support to the outreach and enrollment assister community through Cover Montana. This work includes outreach and public education and the opportunity to raise awareness about coverage options as we head back to school and into Open Enrollment.
  2. $700,000 will be distributed in grants to eligible health care providers to support on-site Certified Application Counselors. Each grant is $30,000 to support their work to enroll their patients and community.

Project Q & A:

Note: The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is managing and implementing this program and they are still finalizing details. However, we have put together questions and answers and will add information and we learn more. Hopefully, this Q & A will help those who are eligible and thinking about applying to learn more about Cover Montana and the CAC/CDO process.

Q: What can the grants be used for?
A: They can be used for personnel costs including the time to complete the Certified Application Counselor Training and outreach and enrollment assistance. Grant funds must be used for costs incurred by December 31, 2020.

Q: Where can I learn more about hiring and/or training a Certified Application Counselor?
A: In order to have a Certified Application Counselor (CAC), an organization must first apply to become a Certified Application Counselor Designated Organization (CDO) with CMS. Here is the website with all kinds of information about the CDO application process. CMS is currently in the process of recertification with current CDO organization. These organization applied two years ago and their CDO renewal is happening on a rolling basis this summer. For organizations that are not currently a CDO, the deadline to apply to become a CDO is August 31, 2020. Also, check out the resources from the Cover Montana Office Hours on September 22nd, above.

Q: When will the new CMS enrollment assister training open?
A: The 2021 plan year CMS assister training is open. Learn more here.

Q: In addition to the CMS training, are there any other trainings required to become a CAC in Montana?
A: Yes, the state of Montana has their own training requirements for CACs. This is overseen by the Office of the Montana State Auditor and you can learn more here under the CAC section.

Q: What kinds of coordination and support will Cover Montana provide to CACs?
A: MPCA is providing the following:

  • Regular Zoom training about relevant outreach and enrollment topics such as: outreach 101, building referral networks from other direct service providers, in-reach to your current uninsured patients, changes to 2021 plans, and more.
  • Regular email newsletters with updates leading up to and throughout Open Enrollment.
  • One-on-one coaching for new enrollment assisters.
  • One-on-one support for outreach and enrollment questions and challenges.
  • Making local connections between enrollment assisters to helps support and facilitate local coordination.