Snapshot of Upcoming BadgerCare Changes

dhsweblogobclogo

BADGERCARE PLUS: 

Wisconsin’s public health insurance  for various groups of low-income people .  The program currently includes several different plans with varying degrees of coverage.

ELIGIBILITY CHANGES:

In the coming months, there will be major changes to who is eligible for coverage under BadgerCare Plus.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT: 

Mental health conditions need consistent care.  Being without medication and other supports for even a very short period of time can be a huge problem.  Being aware of these changes, being prepared and/or helping others prepare will prevent gaps in coverage.

OVERVIEW OF CHANGES

1) Due to changes in state law, the BadgerCare Plus Benchmark Plan, BadgerCare Plus Core Plan, and BadgerCare Plus Basic Plan are ending March 31st, 2014. This change was originally scheduled for Dec. 31st 2013, but Governor Walker called for a delay due to unexpected issues with the federal Marketplace website (www.healthcare.gov). READ DETAILS HERE.

2) Everyone under 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) will be covered by BadgerCare Plus Standard Plan. (FPL calculator)

  • No more waiting lists.
  • This includes people without dependent children.
  • About 82,000 new people will be eligible.
  • Members currently enrolled in the BadgerCare Plus Benchmark Plan and Core Plan who meet this new rule will be automatically transition to BadgerCare Plus Standard Plan as of April 1st, 2014.

3) Everyone currently on BadgerCare whose income is above 100% of the Federal Poverty Level will no longer be eligible.

  • This is currently about 69,000 parents and caretakers, about 5,000 adults without dependent children and almost 4,000 children
  • These people will need to seek coverage on the Marketplace.
  • They got letters in late September and early December warning of changes in coverage. NOTE:  These letters said that coverage would end on December 31st, 2013.  THIS IS NOT TRUE.  Coverage will end March 31st, 2014. 

ACTION STEPS!

1) Talk to people you think might be affected by the changes! It is very important that everyone who represents NAMI (staff, board members, volunteers, members) has some understanding of these changes and is able to reach out to people with accurate, easy-to-understand information.  Visit this section of the blog for resources.  Please contact me if you need materials for a community presentation or meeting.

2) If you have BadgerCare, call Member Services at 1-800-363-3002 to make sure you understand if and how your coverage will change.  Also, be sure to open any letters from BadgerCare that will have important updates!

3) If your income is at or below 100% of the FPL, you will qualify for BadgerCare Plus when the changes go into effect.  Check your income level using this FPL calculator.

WANT MORE THAN A SNAPSHOT?

Go to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website to learn more.