Thursday, March 15, 2012

Smith Plan Cuts 23,000 -- almost 3,000 Kids -- from BadgerCare

Joint Finance Committee Rubber Stamps New Changes to Medicaid Proposal

Wisconsin's Department of Health Services (DHS) continues to negotiate with the federal government on its proposal to reduce BadgerCare Plus coverage and services. This week, Wisconsin's Joint Committee on Finance reviewed DHS's newly adjusted proposal--one that preserves BadgerCare coverage for children, yet impacts cost-sharing and enrollment for adults.
On Wednesday, March 14, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) discussed and voted on a request by DHS Secretary Dennis Smith to revise the previously proposed changes to Wisconsin's medical assistance programs. Summarized in a memo by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, these revised changes include new premium schedules for non-pregnant, non-disabled adults above 133% FPL in BadgerCare Plus and the BadgerCare Plus Core Plan. The new proposal preserves the Transitional Medicaid Program (TMA), which the original proposal would have eliminated. However, adults in TMA will be subject to a similar premium schedules.
According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the revised proposals would reduce BadgerCare participation by nearly 23,000, which includes 2,940 children and 384 pregnant women and newborns. The premium changes alone will affect 17,000 adults, those between 133% and 150% FPL. While significantly less detrimental than the original DHS waiver request, which proposed to reduce BadgerCare enrollment by more than 64,000 people, some members of the Joint Finance Committee argued that these cuts are still unacceptable for Wisconsin's low income residents.
Read more on this Joint Finance Meeting below!

REMEMBER: The current proposal does not reduce BadgerCare+ eligibility for children, and as of today, BadgerCare Plus coverage remains unchanged for children and families!
And, if you missed the JFC meeting, or you would like to watch it again, you can find it on WisconsinEye.

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