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Montana's new idea for health care

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  • Montana's new idea for health care

    Montana is adding $1 tax to each pack of cigarettes and taking that money to subsidize health care costs. Do you think this is a good idea? Will it help?

    New program makes health insurance a reality - Montanans benefiting from Insure Montana, an insurance program funded by through a $1-a-pack cigarette tax. Authorized by the 2005 Legislature, the program offers two ways for small-business employers and employees to save: tax credits for businesses that already offer insurance and a purchasing pool, plus state assistance payments, for businesses that couldn't afford insurance before.

    When Arthun, 53, signed up for private insurance earlier this year, she was paying $423 a month for reasonable coverage with a $5,000 deductible.

    Once the paperwork came through, Arthun learned that she would pay $179 a month for comparable coverage with a $2,000 deductible. But there's a bonus: the state assistance program reimburses her for more than two-thirds of her $179 premium.

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