Governor Bullock to announce new efforts to respond to COVID-19 cases and its impact on Montanans

Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 19:39:44-04

Governor Steve Bullock announced an additional case of COVID-19 in Montana.

The announcement came during the press call.

Bullock said that the one new case is connected to the March 5th Board of Regents meeting.

The governor also announced new measues aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.

First, employees displaced due to COVID-19 related illnesses, family care, or business closures are immediately eligible for unemployment and insurance benefits.

The governor says that the requirement to apply for jobs weekly is waived, as long as employees stay in contact with, and plan to return to their current employer.

Small businesses are also now eligible for SBA loans, and the state will cover testing costs for uninsured Montanans.

“This is a significant step in containing the spread of coronavirus in our state. We know that the lack of health insurance often results in the delay of seeing a doctor or being turned away, which could further fuel this pandemic and put other Montanans at risk,” said Governor Bullock. “It’s going to take all of us working together to slow the spread, and that includes looking out for those who don’t have health insurance, particularly those most vulnerable.”

Under the governor’s emergency authority, state funds, with potential for federal funds, will be used to pay for COVID-19 testing for Montanans without health insurance. If confirmed positive for COVID-19, funds will be used to cover treatment costs. Montanans will be required to provide a recommendation from a provider according to current CDC guidance and the state will reimburse them for that provider visit.

Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP recipients are currently eligible for coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment.

The option will be available to uninsured Montanans starting Monday, March 23. To access the new emergency assistance, Montanans should call 406-444-7605 or email .

Montana has received almost 1,000 additional tests Tuesday from the CDC.