BadgerCare Plus is a long-term health insurance policy for low-income Wisconsin citizens. Starting February 1, 2020, a few changes to the Badgercare Plus program might impact current BadgerCare Plus customers and prospective members who are ineligible for Medicaid, the federal health insurance program for people with disabilities. Because Wisconsin is among a group of states that does not accept all requirements for Medicaid eligibility, it is possible that many who would be eligible for Medicaid under the new guidelines might not be able to sign up. As a result, Wisconsin may experience a net increase in its Medicaid population once eligibility is modified. The new federal guidelines will affect how Badgercare Plus PPO plans operate beginning in February.

According to a letter written by Wisconsin’s Department of Insurance, badgercare will be changing from its current plan design to one that meets federal requirements for all Wisconsin residents who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not far enough to qualify for Medicaid. The state has already started changing the names of the differentiating factors between badgercare and Medicaid for families with a very high and low monthly gross income. Now, families with an income below forty-three thousand dollars in the most will only be eligible for one-third of the federal poverty level. Families making between forty-three thousand and fifty thousand dollars will no longer be eligible for any portion of the federal poverty level.

While the change will impact all Wisconsin residents, those in areas such as Madison and Green Bay will be specifically affected. These two cities, along with Dane, Racine, and La Crosse, will be excluded from the new Wisconsin Medicaid program. Residents in all other parts of the state will continue to have access to this low-cost, high-quality health care coverage. This means that there are more badgercare options available for Wisconsin citizens.

In order to see if you will be qualified for Badgercare Plus in Wisconsin, your current Medicaid plans must have been approved before July 1st, or else you will be considered an eligible applicant for Badgercare. There are different sets of income types for individuals to choose from. If you make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, Badgercare Plus may be a good option for you. Otherwise, you may want to look into filing for supplemental security income (SSI) instead.

For those making less than forty-one thousand dollars, they will have to look into the options available through Badgercare Plus. This program is designed to cover dental care, medically necessary hospital stays, hospice care, home health maintenance services, and personal illness costs. In order to find out if you are eligible for any of these services, you must complete and send in the appropriate forms with your application. The forms can be downloaded online, printed out, and mailed to the Badgercare offices. The application process for Badgercare Plus takes about a week to complete and can be done right online with no need for an approval call or statement from your local physician.

The forms for Badgercare Plus are available through a toll-free number that can be called during office hours or sent through the mail. However, there is one very important piece of information you should include with your application: your social security number. It should not appear on the application as a line for the purpose of obtaining your state’s medical assistance. Your social security number is needed because it verifies your full and current mailing address, which is required to receive Badgercare assistance. It is also needed because your SSI may not be accepted under some state supplemental security income plans, including Badgercare.

Once you have completed and submitted your application, you will be notified in about a week if your income and other requirements to meet the guidelines for eligibility. If it does, you will be provided with the Badgercare prescription drug plan details. If you do qualify for Badgercare, your first dose of medicine will be mailed to you at your doorstep, and you will receive a prescription for two months supply. You will be able to pick up your medicine at your local pharmacy, and you will be required to return to the Badgercare office for refill treatments. In many ways, the process of receiving Badgercare through your local pharmacy is almost identical to receiving Medicare. However, if you choose not to use your local pharmacy, you will need to complete and submit an online application, and then wait for your prescription to arrive through the mail.

While Badgercare offers a prescription drug benefit for its members, you can also purchase additional health insurance coverage, including vision and dental insurance, in addition to the prescription drug plan. These plans are also offered by several other private, for-profit, health maintenance organizations throughout the United Kingdom. Each month, you will be sent a monthly premium due, which is separate from the amount you would pay if you had enrolled in Badgercare. If you would like to review your coverage and eligibility for Badgercare, please contact your local Badgercare Health Maintenance Organization.