- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana health officials are hearing from people in public meetings this week about the state’s plan to expand Medicaid.

State Medicaid Director Mary Dalton said after a meeting in Helena Thursday she’s confident the state will be able to offer health insurance to tens of thousands more low-income Montanans in time for the new year.

Roughly 60 people attended Thursday’s meeting, and 70 went to a Billings meeting Tuesday. Sixty more participated online.

AARP Montana President Joy Bruck was among a few people who echoed concerns from President Barack Obama’s administration over cost-sharing aspects of the Republican-sponsored plan.

The state has asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to accept the state’s plan by Nov. 1 and provide benefits by Jan. 1.

Public comment will be accepted on the Medicaid plan through Sept. 7.

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