Kaiser Health News tells the stories of Colorado, Montana and the rest of the region.

5 Things to Know About Health Care Changes in Montana

The covid pandemic drove major changes to Montana health policies, including the permanent expansion of telehealth regulations, a pullback on local public health officials’ authority and the easing of vaccination requirements for workers and students.

What a Difference a Year Makes in Colorado’s Case for a Public Option Plan

Before the pandemic, Colorado was building momentum to pass what’s known as a “public option” health plan that would lower insurance premiums and force hospitals to accept lower payments. But now with hospitals and health care providers enjoying support as front-line heroes in the pandemic, state legislators have stripped the option from their bill.

Denver State Capitol Building with Mountain View

Montana Sticks to Its Patchwork Covid Vaccine Rollout as Eligibility Expands

Montana’s overstretched counties and tribal governments have developed a mishmash of policies and plans that require ingenuity and mutual support to work. A reporting project by KHN, Montana Free Press and the University of Montana School of Journalism finds the biggest test of that disparate system looms as vaccine eligibility expands. Plus: a county-by-county guide to vaccine availability in Montana.