(HELENA) In anticipation of the federal public health emergency (PHE) ending soon, Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) officials will soon launch an extensive outreach campaign to Montana Medicaid and Healthy Montana Kids (HMK) families about upcoming changes that could impact their healthcare coverage.

One of the first critical steps in the process is encouraging the thousands of Montanans who currently receive healthcare through DPHHS to ensure their contact information on file is current.

“It’s imperative that Montanans update their contact information with DPHHS to ensure they will receive upcoming notices related to their healthcare coverage,” DPHHS Director Adam Meier said. “We encourage people to utilize one of the numerous options available to complete this crucial task.”

The PHE was declared in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meier said that DPHHS adjusted its eligibility processes for Medicaid and HMK programs so individuals would keep their healthcare coverage during the emergency.

However, with the PHE anticipated to end in July, some individuals could lose coverage if DPHHS is not able to reach them to verify current eligibility status.

“We anticipate many of our clients have changed addresses, phone numbers, and emails over the past couple years, so now is the time to update that information,” Meier said.  

Updates can be made the following ways:

  • Complete the new change of address form online at mt.gov. Individuals can also create an online account at apply.mt.gov. Through an online account, members can not only update their contact information but also renew their coverage when it is time, as well as receive correspondence.
  • Call the Public Assistance Helpline at 1-888-706-1535
  • Mail a letter to DPHHS, PO Box 202925, Helena, MT 59620-2925
  • Fax a letter to 1-877-418-4533
  • Go to a local Office of Public Assistance

DPHHS will also be launching a new website page in the coming weeks, where Montanans can provide their current contact information as well.

To assist the public, here is a brief informational guide on the Medicaid changes.

Once the PHE end date is announced, DPHHS will finalize the date in which it will resume processing annual renewals and changes in Medicaid/HMK clients’ circumstances and adjusting members’ coverage as appropriate. Individuals who DPHHS determines are no longer eligible for Medicaid/HMK coverage will receive a notice telling them their coverage will end and providing information on how to pursue coverage through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

As DPHHS begins processing renewals, some individuals’ coverage will be renewed through an automated process. Those individuals will receive a letter from DPHHS informing them they are eligible for continued coverage.

Individuals whose coverage cannot be automatically renewed will receive a renewal packet in the mail. The best way for these individuals to complete their renewal is online at apply.mt.gov or by calling the Public Assistance Helpline at 1-888-706-1535.

“It is important that individuals respond and complete their renewal,” Meier said. “If a member does not complete their renewal, their healthcare coverage will end.”

Households will have a minimum of 30 days to return their renewal packet once it is received. DPHHS will send a follow up reminder notice and text message to encourage as many members to complete the renewal process as possible.

DPHHS expects to complete renewals for all Medicaid/HMK members by May 31, 2023.

Montanans covered by Medicaid who need help navigating the renewal process or finding other health coverage are encouraged to call Cover Montana’s toll-free help line at (844) 682-6837 or find local in-person enrollment help at www.covermt.org..

- Press Release -