BadgerCare Plus enrollees to get letter about higher premiumsThe state is sending a letter this week to 111,000 BadgerCare Plus enrollees about higher premiums many of them will pay starting July 1, state Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith said Wednesday.
By: By David Wahlberg, The Wisconsin State Journal, Superior Telegram
The state is sending a letter this week to 111,000 BadgerCare Plus enrollees about higher premiums many of them will pay starting July 1, state Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith said Wednesday.
Another letter, to be sent next month, will tell affected enrollees how much they will have to pay for the state's largest Medicaid health insurance program, Smith said.
Changes requested by the state and approved last week by the federal government, including the higher premiums, are expected to cause 17,000 adults to lose state coverage and 30,000 others to pay more for it. Premiums will range from 3 percent to 9.5 percent of household income, officials said.
The cuts affect adults who make more than 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or $25,390 for a family of three, and aren't pregnant or disabled.
About 777,000 people are on BadgerCare Plus. Medicaid, a $7.5-billion-a-year program funded by state and federal money, covers 1.2 million people in Wisconsin, or one in five residents.
Other changes approved last week include dropping BadgerCare Plus enrollees for a year if they don't pay their premiums, not granting coverage retroactively and refusing coverage if people can get employer insurance for less than 9.5 percent of their incomes.
The changes will save the state $28 million, Smith said. Administrative steps, such as changes in coding, provider payments and prescription drug purchasing, are saving $35 million, he said at a Madison Club lunch meeting organized by Wisconsin Health News.
The latest projected Medicaid deficit through June 2013 is $82 million in state funds and $400 million overall, Smith said.
Family Care, a Medicaid program to keep the elderly and disabled out of nursing homes, is enrolling people after a cap was recently lifted, Smith said. But the state is still negotiating with federal officials on some Family Care changes, he said.
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