Enrollment Begins For Wisconsin BadgerCare Plus Program
Enrollmentin Wisconsin'snew BadgerCare Plus program began on Thursday, and state officialsplan to enroll at least 25,000 children within the next 12 to 18 months, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The program consolidatesand streamlines the state's existing Medicaid, Healthy Start and Badger Careprograms.
Under the initiative, families with annual incomes up to 300% of the federalpoverty level are eligible to purchase basic health coverage for their childrenfor $10 to $90.74 per month, depending on income. Families with incomes greaterthan 300% of the poverty level will have to contribute the full cost forcoverage -- about $1,089 annually per child -- and coverage will be fullysubsidized for families with incomes below 200% of the poverty level. Familieswith incomes up to 150% of the poverty level will be enrolled in the programimmediately after they submit their applications and will have up to two monthsto provide required documentation. Parents whose employers cover 80% of thecost of family coverage and undocumented immigrant children do not qualify forthe program.
In most parts of the state, children will receive basic coverage through an HMOrun by a private company. The coverage will include some copayments and willpay for generic prescription drugs. BadgerCare Plus also will change the wayeligibility is determined for farmers and people who are self-employed.
The program is expected to cost $50 million over the next year-and-a-half, andthe federal government will pay more than 60% of the costs. The program alsowill be funded through premiums paid by families, as well as savings fromexpanded use of HMOs and administrative savings. Gov. Jim Doyle (D) hopes toexpand the program next year to cover low-income workers who do not havechildren (Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/31).
Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.