Hospitals, social welfare groups try to get ex-BadgerCare enrollees on exchangeA major effort is underway by hospitals and social welfare groups to get people who will no longer be eligible for BadgerCare next year signed up for subsidized private insurance on the new federal exchange.
By: Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A major effort is underway by hospitals and social welfare groups to get people who will no longer be eligible for BadgerCare next year signed up for subsidized private insurance on the new federal exchange.
In southeast Wisconsin, there's an all-out effort to get low-income people insured. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele describes it as “all hands on deck” to get across a message that he says will be persistent and constant.
“This will be a success insofar as we get people informed and enrolled as effectively and quickly as possible, and we're going to work hard to do it,“ says Abele.
Certified application counselors will be at the city of Milwaukee's health department and out in the community. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is concerned that those without health coverage will go to emergency rooms for routine care.
“Thousands of people are going to be losing their Medicaid,” says Barrett. “We know that. That's going to happen. That's a decision that's been made by the state.”
Starting next year, 92,000 Wisconsin residents just over the federal poverty level will no longer be eligible for Medicaid. There's concern that many won't be able to afford private insurance on the marketplace, even with federal subsidies.
In Dane County, United Way and UW Health are using $2 million to pay the premiums of those who can't. UW Health president Donna Katen-Bahensky says more than 7,000 people losing BadgerCare could be eligible for help.
“Our hope is that as more people are able to access care that they will begin to utilize the array of options available to them so they aren't coming when they are at their most sick,“ says Katen-Bahensky.
Financial support will be offered to some Dane County residents for one year under a program called HealthConnect.