Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Overview of the BadgerCare Changes Being Implemented by the Department of Health Services

For over a year, we’ve been expecting changes to BadgerCare Plus. On Friday, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved a portion of the Walker Administration’s requested changes. Though we’ve been updating you through the blog on what we expected to be approved, the final agreement is in and we've prepared a new summary. Stay tuned, however, because the Alternative Benchmark proposal (which would result in higher premiums and limited benefits for more than 300,000 participants) is still being reviewed.

Today, WCCF is releasing a 2-page overview of the approved changes to BadgerCare for adults over 133 percent of the federal poverty level. It also notes which of changes that Wisconsin proposed were not approved by the federal government, including changes that would have caused 29,000 children to lose their BadgerCare coverage. The majority of the approved changes will take effect on July 1, 2012. Restrictions for those with offers of employee coverage, and their spouses, will apply to current BadgerCare participants when they come up for renewal or take a new job.

Here’s a taste of the great information you’ll find in the overview:
Table 1:  Comparison of Original and Revised DHS Proposals for BadgerCare Changes

Policy or impact
Original DHS Proposals
Approved changes
Total # expected to lose BadgerCare coverage
About 17,000
   a) parents
About 15,600
   b) children
   c) childless adults
   d) pregnant women and   newborns
Total with higher premiums
About 48,000
Reduction in state General Fund spending 
$90 million
$28 million

Sara Eskrich

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