Keeping Milwaukeeans Covered
Due to the end of the Public Health Emergency on May 31, 2023, all people with Medicaid or BadgerCare Plus coverage need to renew their benefits by means of a phased renewal process from June 2023 through May 2024. In Milwaukee County, this equates to nearly 415,000 residents representing 45% of the county’s population. About 16,000 Milwaukee County Medicaid beneficiaries will need to redetermine their eligibility and re-apply per month.
During the first three months of eligibility determinations, on average roughly 50% of Milwaukee County residents up for renewal retained coverage. These first months of renewal data suggest that Milwaukee County will see a significant increase in the uninsured rate if this trend continues and those falling off Medicaid coverage do not find other options to stay covered.
“The data is telling us that serious actions need to be taken to improve the renewal rate and/or connect residents to alternative insurance options,” said Justin Rivas, Director of Community Health Initiatives, Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, and Manager, Milwaukee Enrollment Network. “Adequate and affordable health insurance coverage is critical to the well-being of individuals and our community – and it’s time for an all hands on deck approach across sectors.”
In the coming months, a shared focus on Medicaid renewals and Marketplace enrollment for non-Medicaid eligible individuals will be critical. The HealthCare.gov Marketplace Open Enrollment period runs from November 1, 2023, to January 15, 2024. Medicaid beneficiaries who fall off coverage have until June 2024 to enroll in HealthCare.gov Marketplace coverage.
What You Can Do:
About 60% of the people who are no longer eligible for coverage due to higher income levels are expected to be eligible for their employer-sponsored health insurance. Due to special provisions, individuals who are no longer eligible for Medicaid have 60 days after losing Medicaid coverage to enroll in employer-based coverage. Employers should honor this extended period and ensure employees are aware through clear, consistent messaging.
For Health Care Providers:
Many individuals are expected to first learn they have lost Medicaid coverage at a “point of care,” be that medical, behavioral health, dental, or pharmacy. Health care providers should consider bolstering administrative improvements and outreach/enrollment efforts to prevent people from losing coverage.
For Medicaid Beneficiaries:
Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus recipients are encouraged to learn their renewal month and make a plan to renew by the 15th of the month. For questions or help enrolling, call Covering Wisconsin at 414-400-9489 for free help.
For individuals who find themselves without Medicaid coverage and not eligible for employer-sponsored plans, there continue to be low-cost health insurance options on the HealthCare.gov Marketplace, with extra financial help to lower monthly premiums for all income levels. Beneficiaries can visit HealthyMKE.com or call Covering Wisconsin at 414-400-9489. Covering Wisconsin has health insurance navigators who are knowledgeable and available to provide free help with Medicaid or Marketplace coverage in person, over the phone, by chat, or by text.
All organizations are encouraged to communicate with their clients and employees about their current Medicaid coverage and share resources to support access to new coverage options.
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