Providing policy solutions and ensure that information is available to reach informed decisions regarding proposed Medicaid and health policy changes. 

The goal of this focus area is to provide practical policy solutions to key health systems challenges; to ensure that Montanans have adequate information to understand and reach informed decisions regarding proposed Medicaid and health policy changes at the federal and state levels; and to allow Montana’s health system to adapt to new policies promptly and effectively.

State and federal health policies have a profound impact on the lives, health, and health care of Montanans. In early 2019, the law that authorized Montana’s Medicaid expansion will come up for reauthorization by the state legislature. Federal health policy continues to be uncertain, with new policy proposals arising nearly every month. In this environment of rapid change and uncertainty, the public and policymakers need timely, fact-based policy analysis from a credible source. Moreover, state organizations working to strengthen the health system need resources effectively engage and support policy decisions that will have a positive effect on the Foundation’s goal of improving the health and health care for all Montanans.

Funding Opportunity

There are currently no grant opportunities in this focus area. In 2018, we will continue to work with stakeholders to identify the most effective health policy investments.

Medicaid and Health Policy Resources

Our Work in Medicaid and Health Policy

Medicaid and Health Policy Grantees

Montana Health Research and Education Foundation

Montana Medicaid Expansion Impact Study

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2019
Grant Amount: $54,100

This project allowed the Montana Hospital Association (MHA) to work with the nationally recognized consulting firm Navigant to develop an independent assessment of the financial impacts, fiscal performance, and health care impacts of Montana’s Medicaid expansion. The report was released during the legislative session during which reauthorization of the program was being debated. The report provided independent, rigorous analysis that informed stakeholders of the costs, cost-benefits, and overall objective, third-party analysis of the impact of Medicaid expansion on Montana’s health care system and economy. (The Montana Health Research and Education Foundation is the foundation arm of MHA.)

Montana Human Rights Network

General Operating Support

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $30,000

This project was executed in collaboration with Montana Women Vote and the Montana Budget and Policy Center. The Network pursued two overarching strategies to protect access to health care for Montanans, particularly low-income and LGBT Montanans. First, they engaged in grassroots organizing to identify supporters and people who were directly affected by policy decisions related to the ACA and expanded Medicaid and then they worked to mobilize these supporters to take public action. Second, they worked to build a consistent narrative using primarily earned media that was supplemented with paid media at strategic times. The Network’s efforts identified hundreds of supportive Montanans through volunteer phone banks, online surveys, social media, and event canvasses. Through conversations with supporters, the Network identified individual stories of how the ACA and expanded Medicaid had created access to health care for themselves and their families. The Network also pushed honest, data-driven, and compelling research out through membership communications and social media.

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Analyzing and Understanding the Impact of Medicaid Expansion on Montanans

Grant Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $90,500

This statewide project seeks to analyze available demographic and health data of the Montana Medicaid Expansion population in order to better understand the impact of expanded health coverage on Montanans.

Montana Budget and Policy Center

Medicaid Policy Analysis and General Operating Support

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $50,000

This grant provided general operating support for the Montana Budget and Policy Center who will continue their work with Healthy Montana Coalition partners to disseminate information about Montana’s Medicaid expansion. During the grant period, the grantee helped to organize 15 events, conducted outreach to more than 18,000 Montanans, and produced 3 reports:

  1. Rural Montana Hit Harder Under House Passed Health Care Plan
  2. 142,000 Montanans Face Uncertainly of Health Coverage with Threat of ACA Repeal
  3. Montana Families Rely on Children’s Health Insurance Program

Montana Primary Care Association

Documenting Patient Experiences with Montana's Medicaid Expansion

Project Term: 3 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $16,400

This project resulted in the publication of Montana Coverage Matters, a storybook that documents individual patient experiences related to the Medicaid expansion. This project was done in partnership with the Montana Human Rights Network (who received an additional $20,000 MHCF grant for this project).

2019 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.