Montana's unique plan to expand Medicaid under the ACA received official approval this week from the Obama administration.
In an effort to encourage responsible use of the program, Montana will require beneficiaries to pay premiums of up to 2% their income and make the maximum allowable copayments, which in total can not exceed 5% of a family's household income.
The state has designated its largest insurance carrier, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, as the administrator of the expansion program. This marks the first use of a third-party administrator for a Medicaid expansion program, the Associated Press reports.
Montana's move to expand Medicaid marks a national milestone, some experts say, because with 30 states now participating, the country has reached a tipping point at which other states are increasingly likely to follow, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Montana spent three years going back and forth on legislation before reaching a compromise between the state's Democratic governor and Republican legislature.
"Montana has chosen to put people over politics, and we hope that the remaining states will join Montana and the other 29 states that have designed programs to meet the needs of their residents who need healthcare," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a prepared statement.
The state estimates about 70,000 people will become eligible for coverage under the expansion, but participation will reach about 45,700 over the next four years.