Montana's child care reinsurance pool proposal fails to pass committee

Critics cited unintended consequences and burdens for taxpayers

Montana's child care reinsurance pool proposal fails to pass committee


By Kenneth Araullo

A legislative proposal to establish a child care reinsurance pool in Montana failed in an interim committee, despite backing from child care advocates.

As per a report, state legislators voted against advancing the draft legislation following extensive debate at the Economic Affairs Interim Committee meeting on Monday.

Proponents, including Zero to Five Montana, argued that the pool would alleviate the financial burden of premiums on child care providers.

Opponents, however, expressed concerns about unintended consequences and potential taxpayer risks.

“I will be a no on this current motion, because I don’t think it will pass this committee. But if Rep Karlen did want to work on reducing the red tape to start child care, I’d be open to that,” State Sen Ken Bogner (R-Miles City) said during the discussion on a related motion.

“We’ve kind of maxed out, from everything I’ve heard, on the amount of red tape that can be reduced without either compromising the safety of kids or making it harder for providers to access insurance,” State Rep Jonathan Karlen (D-Missoula) added. He expressed hesitation about further regulatory measures.

Proposed funding options for the reinsurance pool included a state special revenue account, marijuana tax revenue, or the state general fund.

Montana’s deputy insurance commissioner, Frank Cote, previously testified that a health insurance reinsurance pool through the Montana Reinsurance Association resulted in a premium reduction of about 10%.

A reinsurance pool serves as a risk management tool for insurers, essentially providing insurance for insurance companies. This allows insurers to undertake additional risks while limiting their exposure.

Meanwhile, in Kansas, a review of Medicaid eligibility in the state revealed that approximately 47% of those losing state health insurance coverage are 18 or younger.

Of the 75,532 Kansans who lost coverage, 24,673 were children aged 0-12, and another 10,632 were aged 13-18.

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