Montana Administrative Register Notice 37-654 No. 21   11/14/2013    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 37.81.304 and 37.81.342 pertaining to maximum Big Sky Rx premium change







TO: All Concerned Persons


            1. On December 4, 2013, at 11:00 a.m., the Department of Public Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing in the auditorium of the Department of Public Health and Human Services Building, 111 North Sanders, at Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules.


2. The Department of Public Health and Human Services will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Public Health and Human Services no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 27, 2013, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Kenneth Mordan, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; telephone (406) 444-4094; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail dphhslegal@mt.gov.


3. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


            37.81.304 AMOUNT OF THE BIG SKY RX BENEFIT (1) An applicant eligible for the Big Sky Rx PDP premium assistance may receive a benefit not to exceed $34.61 $32.20 per month. The benefit amount will not exceed $34.61 $32.20 regardless of the cost of the premium for the PDP the individual chooses.

            (a) If a portion of the applicant's PDP premium is paid through the Extra Help Program, the Big Sky Rx Program will pay the applicant's portion of the PDP premium up to $34.61 $32.20 per month.

            (b) remains the same.

            (c) All expenditures are contingent on legislative appropriation. The amount of the monthly benefit, $34.61 $32.20, extends the Social Security Extra Help benefit amount to Montana residents with income up to 200% FPL. The department's total expenditure for the program will be based on appropriation and the number of enrolled applicants.


AUTH: 53-2-201, 53-6-1004, MCA

IMP:     53-2-201, 53-6-1001, 53-6-1004, 53-6-1005, MCA


            37.81.342 BIG SKY RX PREMIUM PAYMENTS (1) Monthly premium payments will be made to:

            (a) and (b) remain the same.

            (c) direct payments to enrollees can will be made:

            (i) by check mailed to the enrollee; or

            (ii) (i)  through direct deposit.; or

            (ii) by check only in the following circumstances:

            (A) if there is no bank account; or

            (B) the enrollee has a permanent exemption with Social Security and still receiving Social Security benefits by check or by Direct Express debit card.


AUTH: 53-2-201, 53-6-1004, MCA

IMP:     53-6-1001, 53-6-1004, 53-6-1005, MCA




The Department of Public Health and Human Services (department) is proposing to amend ARM 37.81.304 and 37.81.342 pertaining to the Big Sky Rx monthly benefit payments and premium payments. These proposed amendments are necessary to ensure safety and convenience to the clients who now receive their monthly benefit by warrant. The proposed amendments are summarized below.


ARM 37.81.304


The proposed amendment to ARM 37.81.304 will ensure that the monthly benefit does not exceed the Low Income Subsidy (LIS) set for this region.


ARM 37.81.342


The department is proposing amendments to ARM 37.81.342 in order to update the required premium benefits to be paid electronically unless the enrollee has qualified for an exemption.


            5. The department intends to adopt these rule amendments effective January 1, 2014.


            6. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Kenneth Mordan, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail dphhslegal@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., December 12, 2013.


7. The Office of Legal Affairs, Department of Public Health and Human Services, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.


8. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency.  Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices.  Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 6 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


9. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.  The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered.  In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


10.  The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


11.  With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rules will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.



/s/ John C. Koch                                          /s/ Richard H. Opper                                   

John C. Koch                                              Richard H. Opper, Director

Rule Reviewer                                              Public Health and Human Services


Certified to the Secretary of State November 4, 2013.



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