Thousands of BadgerCare Plus Enrollees to Pay Higher Premiums

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Wisconsin's popular Medicaid program BadgerCare Plus, which provides coverage for nearly 800,000 low income people, is about to change.

Because of state budget constraints, 3,000 people in Marathon County, plus 100,000 more across the state may have to pay higher premiums beginning July 1st.

It's one of several changes to the benefit. program. The cuts affect adults who make more than 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or $25,390 for a family of three.

Adults in that category, who aren't pregnant or disabled, will pay more depending on their income, but no more than 9.5 percent.

"It may be as low as $37 dollars it may go up to $400 some dollars," said Jane Huebsch, Marathon County's Support Program Manager.

There are also new rules for reporting changes to income and providing proof of income.

Also, if you have access to an affordable employer sponsored health insurance plan, you may not be able to stay on BadgerCare Plus.

"There's also a change going through that will affect folks that fail to pay their premiums," Huebsch said. "If they fail to pay their premiums they will automatically be dis-enrolled from the program for 12 months."

Huebsch says BadgerCare Plus is a good program because it ensures people who can't afford health insurance on their own, or whose employers don't provide it. It also covers preventative care, and can minimize emergency room visits.

Families on BadgerCare Plus will know in one month how much they'll have to pay for continued coverage.

Last month there were 1,200 new applications for the program in Marathon, Portage, Langlade and Oneida Counties. There were 800 in March.

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