October is Disability Employment Awareness Month and so we are happy to let you know that a new Medicaid Buy-in program, specifically for workers with disabilities, will be coming to Montana soon.
The new Medicaid Buy-in program will be called the Montana Medicaid for Workers with Disabilities Program (MMWD). The purpose of the program is to support employment for individuals with disabilities by providing the opportunity for individuals to begin or continue to receive Medicaid benefits during their employment.
Medicaid eligibility is extremely important for many individuals with disabilities because Medicaid covers many disability-specific services and supports that are not typically covered by private pay insurance, including things like personal assistance services, mental health services, and developmental disability services. The fear of losing Medicaid coverage is one of the primary reasons many adults with disabilities are afraid or reluctant to start or return to work. Many adults with disabilities cannot risk losing the benefits that provide them with the services, supports and medical care they need to live on a daily basis. Through the MMWD program, working people with disabilities will be able to continue to participate in the Medicaid program by paying affordable premiums — similar to purchasing private health insurance — while they are earning income from employment. Individuals who are eligible to participate in the MMWD program will be able to retain higher income and resource levels, and still maintain their Medicaid coverage.
The MMWD program is now currently under development and we will be entering the administrative rule making process at any time. Once in the administrative rule making process, there will be further opportunities for public input on the proposed rules before they are adopted. The estimated date for the MMWD program to begin is July 1, 2010.
For more information on the MMWD program or for any questions you may have, please contact Travis Hoffman at 406-728-1630.