Federal health officials are taking public comment on Montana's proposal to expand Medicaid coverage to approximately 70,000 low-income residents.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid's comment period on the compromise legislation signed by Gov. Steve Bullock earlier this year lasts until Oct. 15.

The state has asked the federal agency to accept the state's plan by Nov. 1 and provide benefits by Jan. 1.

The agency must approve a waiver before the expansion can take effect. That's because of the changes made for legislators to approve the plan, such as requiring enrollees to pay premiums that amount to 2 percent of their income.

Comments can be submitted and reviewed at the government's Medicaid.gov website.

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