HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana plans to invest $16 million annually over the next five years to expand community-based services for people with severe and disabling mental illness, officials said.

The funding under an existing Medicaid waiver benefit option will increase the number of people already receiving services from 357 to 750 by 2025, The Great Falls Tribune reported Monday.

The proposal will serve more people discharged from Montana State Hospital, Montana Mental Health Nursing Care Center and those using the Money Follows the Person program, officials said.

The plan is contingent on approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is part of an existing Department of Public Health and Human Services federal waiver.

State officials said Monday they are confident the measure will be approved.

The program called the Medicaid Severe and Disabling Mental Illness — Home and Community Based Services Waiver is a partnership between the state and CMS.

The program has delivered more than $9 million in local services since 2018, officials said.

The public health and human services department will fund the increase using $2.4 million in unspent funds to match an additional $4.6 million from CMS each year.

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