- Associated Press - Monday, February 3, 2014

LIBBY, Mont. (AP) - A pilot program that provides medical and other services to victims of asbestos exposure has been expanded to include 18 additional counties in Montana, Idaho and Washington.

The program offers home assistance, mileage reimbursements for medical travel and other benefits to people with asbestos-related diseases that have been linked to a closed W.R. Grace, Inc. vermiculite mine in Libby.

The program had been open only to people in Lincoln and Flathead counties when it was established under the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus announced Saturday that it will be expanded to include five more counties in northwestern Montana, seven in Idaho and six in Washington.

Baucus says it will help people who moved away from Libby get the health care they need.

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