Business Monthly

The 2024 Healthcare Issue

Senior healthcare demand rises in the Flathead; thousands of local children and adults have dropped off the Medicaid rolls since the state began reviewing enrollment; plus 'Ask the Expert' with Kalispell pediatrician Dr. John Cole

By Beacon Staff
A vacant room at Immanuel Lutheran Communities retirement home in Kalispell on Jan. 19, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon


Flathead Providers Promote ‘Aging in Place’ as Senior Healthcare Demand Rises

The Flathead Valley is following nationwide population trends as the youngest baby boomers near retirement age. But demand far exceeds available resources, forcing providers to brainstorm creative solutions to eldercare.

Patty Edwards, age 76, watches television in her room at Immanuel Living in Kalispell on Jan. 19, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

When Betsy Platt and her husband left California to retire in Bigfork two decades ago, they immersed themselves into the community – joining the First Presbyterian Church of Kalispell and volunteering for organizations like the local food bank. Read more



Impacts of Medicaid Unwinding Continue in the Flathead

Medicaid enrollment in the Flathead has dropped by thousands of people, according to a state health department dashboard that tracks Medicaid data

The Flathead City-County Health Department on March 11, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The impacts of Medicaid unwinding continue to ripple through the Flathead Valley as Montana’s redetermination process continues in the new year with thousands fewer children and adults receiving coverage since the state began reviewing its Medicaid rolls last year. Read more



Ask the Expert: Dr. John Cole

The Kalispell pediatrician answers questions about trends in pediatric care and how Montana’s rural landscape impacts healthcare access for kids

Flathead Beacon: What trends are there so far this season with pediatric RSV and flu cases? How do you get treatment? Read more



This Month’s Market Metrics

Gas Prices (Jan. 30)
Hawaii (highest) – $4.67/gal | Wyoming (lowest) – $2.64/gal | Montana – $2.81/gal

Glacier Park International Airport Passenger Stats (December)
Departures 2023 25,633 | 2022 23,269 Arrivals 2023 28,624 | 2022 24,360

Unemployment Rates (December)
U.S. 3.7% | Montana 3.2% | Flathead County 4.7%

Flathead County Residential Sales (December)
2023 399 | 2022 428 | 2021 795 | 2020 896


Financial Corner: Consider Family Meeting to Discuss Estate Plans

Use this meeting to introduce your estate plans and, in a basic sense, what you hope to accomplish with them

At some point, you’ll want to share your estate plans with your loved ones — and the first step in this process may be to hold a family meeting. Read more

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