WI Families Aren't Seeking Public Insurance Aid During Crisis

Jun 29, 2020
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MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's jobless rate sits at 12% in the economic fallout caused by COVID-19. Health insurance gaps are expected, including for families with young children, and some worry they're not seeking enough help.

Analysts say Wisconsin has a higher than average reliance on employer-sponsored health coverage, but an estimated 260,000 people have lost theirs.

Governor Tony Evers proclaimed November as Family Caregiver Month, but an advocate says much more needs to be done for people who are caregivers.

Lisa Pugh is Director of The Arc Wisconsin, part of a national group that advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Pugh says caregivers are in a crisis in the state...

WSAU radio

WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -- With the reveal of Governor Tony Evers' first state budget just days away, Citizen Action Wisconsin is renewing the call for Wisconsin to accept federal money to allow for the expansion of BadgerCare.

Executive Director Robert Kraig held a news conference at the Wausau Universalist Unitarian Church along with supervisors from Oneida and Wood counties calling for area Senators to make accepting the money a priority in the upcoming budget.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin has again pointed out the differences in health costs in Wisconsin versus Minnesota. The group each year releases health insurance market rates.

Executive Director Robert Kraig says Minnesota embraced and built upon the Affordable Care Act and as a result, their costs to get healthcare insurance are noticeably lower than those in Wisconsin.

State Senator Questions Assumptions About Wisconsin Support Programs

Mar 13, 2018

Wisconsin News Connection is here.

MADISON, Wis. - Democratic state senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma says the package of proposals under Special Assembly Bill 6 makes false assumptions about fraud in the state's assistance programs. DarkoStojanovic

The advocacy group Citizen Action of Wisconsin late last week released it's annual report on regional health insurance costs.

Executive Director Robert Kraig says the report shows the hyperinflation before the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the lessening of inflation after A.C.A. went into effect..

" hyperinflation has slowed dramatically in the large group market since passage. It certainly is not fair to say the the Affordable Care Act has increased costs..."

Wisconsin could lose up to $115 million a year if unless Congress acts to renew a program called the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIPS. 118,000 children are covered under the program in Wisconsin. Because of Wisconsin law, those children will remain covered, but the state will need to pick up the burden instead of being reimbursed from Washington, D.C.

Jon Peacock of the Wisconsin group Kids Forward says the program began 20 years ago on a bipartisan basis to expand health coverage for kids in low-income working families...

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Following President Trump's Executive Order Thursday affecting funding of the Affordable Care Act, Wisconsin Democrats are saying there is an option for consumers.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin held a call-in Friday where advocates said insurance rate increases are avoidable if Wisconsin adopts the BadgerCare Public Option bill introduced last summer.

The BadgerCare Public Option Bill authored by State Rep. Eric Genrich  of Green Bay and State Sen. LaTonya Johnson of Milwaukee, gives Wisconsinites the option of purchasing BadgerCare on the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

U.S. Senate Urged To Pass CHIP Funding

Apr 9, 2015

Advocates are calling on the federal government to continue funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The program is funded through Medicaid or, in Wisconsin Badgercare Plus. Money comes from both the federal and state coffers to fund the low-income health insurance program.

Funding for the program has passed the U.S. House, but has stalled in the U.S. Senate.

State Medicaid Director Kevin  Moore describes how the program works...

An advocacy group says 101 primary care physicians in Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade and Forest counties will lose 45 percent of their Medicaid or Badgercare reimbursements this week.

Health Insurance Enrollment Period Opens Saturday

Nov 10, 2014

If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll have another chance starting this weekend to sign up on the health exchange, the online marketplace for health insurance.

The open enrollment period opens this Saturday, November 15th, and runs through February 15th.

Many hospitals and health care providers offer help signing up.

Ellen Humberston, Certified Application Counselor at the Bridge Community Health Clinic says there are several enrollment sessions where people can get help.

BadgerCare Referendums Draw Strong Support

Nov 5, 2014

Despite big Republican wins in Wisconsin elections Tuesday, voters went against the party line in supporting referendums on whether the state should accept federal Medicaid funds. 

Nineteen counties and the city of Kenosha had the question on the ballot, and all passed it with substantial margins.

69 percent of Oneida County voters said yes, the state should accept the federal dollars, with 70 percent in Iron County and 67 percent in Lincoln also voting in favor of the measure.

19 counties and the city of Kenosha will be hosting an advisory referendum question on Tuesday's ballot  concerning federal funds for Medicaid or Badgercare.

The Oneida County Board voted in favor of an advisory referendum…asking voters whether the state should accept federal dollars for Medicaid. 

At Tuesday’s meeting County Board Supervisor Bob Mott said the issue had already been thoroughly debated.

“We are not looking for a debate today, we’re simply saying, does the county board support allowing people in Oneida County to express their opinion on whether the state should or should not accept federal moneys?” 

Twelve other counties have already called for the same referendum this November.

12 Wisconsin counties have placed referendums before their voters this November to ask the Walker administration to accept federal Medicaid funds. The program in Wisconsin is known as BadgerCare. Chippewa county is the latest to hold such a referendum and Lincoln county has already joined in.

Tuesday, the Oneida county board will consider whether to become the next county to take the issue to a referendum.

The Resolution was sponsored by the Board of Health. Health Department Director Linda Conlon details what the county board will consider....