WISCONSINREPORT.COM (04/30/2010) - Governor Jim Doyle has signed into law Senate Bill 484, the BadgerCare Plus Basic Bill. This bill creates a new, entirely self-funded health care plan option for nearly 43,000 adults without dependent children who are on the BadgerCare Plus Core Plan waiting list. For $130 a month, people enrolled in BadgerCare Plus Basic will be able to go see a doctor, get the generic prescriptions they need, and receive catastrophic coverage, without costing taxpayers a dime.
“Here in Wisconsin, we have worked hard to protect people who have lost their jobs and health insurance in this national economy through no fault of their own,” Governor Doyle said.
“I am proud to sign into law BadgerCare Plus Basic to help tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents who so badly need health care purchase basic health coverage – at no cost to taxpayers,” Governor Doyle continued.
The Basic plan is not designed to be a long-term health coverage plan, but instead will be an elective plan to keep individuals healthy while they wait for coverage on the BadgerCare Plus Core Plan.
More than 64,000 individuals are currently enrolled in the state's Core Plan, which suspended new enrollments last October due to budget limits. Since that time, nearly 43,000 individuals have been placed on a waitlist for the program.
BadgerCare Plus Basic will be paid for through a monthly premium of $130 plus reasonable co-payments. Members will have access to catastrophic coverage plus:
- Up to 10 physician visits each year;
- Limited hospitalization;
- Coverage for first inpatient hospital stay and five outpatient hospital visits;
- Subsequent stays after $7,500 deductible;
- Up to five emergency room visits each year;
- Some generic medications; and
- Badger Rx Gold discount drug membership.
To be eligible for Basic coverage, individuals must have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, have no dependent children, and be included on the waiting list for the BadgerCare Plus Core Plan.
Starting on June 1, 2010, individuals on the Core waiting list can sign up for BadgerCare Plus Basic. Basic coverage will begin on July 1, 2010. To find out more or to apply for the waitlist, visit: www.badgercareplus.org.
Governor Doyle thanked Senator Erpenbach for his hard work to get the bill to his desk. The Governor also recognized Senator Robson, and Representatives Richards and Roys for their work on the bill.
Governor Doyle signed the bill into law at the Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin Hatchery Hill clinic in Fitchburg. The Governor was joined by Linda Churchill from Lyndon Station, a resident who has lost her job and health insurance in the national economic downturn, and plans to enroll in BadgerCare Plus Basic.
Wisconsin now ranks second in the country in the percentage of people with access to health care and first in health care quality. Every Wisconsin child now has access to health care through Governor Doyle’s BadgerCare Plus plan. In addition, since 2009, the Governor’s BadgerCare Plus Core Plan has provided standard health benefits for low income adults without dependent children.
The Governor is also working to position Wisconsin to lead in the implementation of national health care reform. Earlier this month, Governor Doyle created the Office of Health Care Reform co-led by the Secretary of Health Services and the Commissioner of Insurance. The Office will develop an implementation plan that uses national health care reform to build on Wisconsin’s successful efforts and existing programs.
Beginning in 2014, most enrollees in the Core and Basic plans will be eligible for the full BadgerCare Plus benefit as a result of national health care reform. In the meantime, programs like Core and Basic serve as important bridges to keep people healthy while health care reform is implemented.