Today in response to a request from Senator Tammy Baldwin, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a special enrollment period for 38,000 BadgerCare recipients forced into a coverage gap by Governor Walker’s actions. The special enrollment period will give these Wisconsin residents 60 days to enroll in the Federal health insurance marketplace for 2014.
Because of Governor Walker’s decision to needlessly force 63,000 people off BadgerCare, as many as 38,000 have fallen into a coverage gap. These Wisconsin residents are ineligible for BadgerCare, and until Thursday’s action by the Federal Government could not have enrolled in Federal marketplace plans until January 1.
So far Governor Walker has refused to develop any response to this self-inflicted coverage crisis, despite repeated requests from Senator Tammy Baldwin and Wisconsin health advocates. In response to Senator Baldwin’s call for a special enrollment period, Walker was quoted Wednesday by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel denying there is any problem: “I think this is something where somebody is looking for a problem that doesn’t exist.”
“The special enrollment period announced today will give those needlessly forced off BadgerCare another opportunity to gain health care coverage,”said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “It is a good common sense step. However, it does not address the problem that marketplace plans are too expensive for many of the people pushed off BadgerCare by Governor Walker. Accepting enhanced federal Medicaid dollars for BadgerCare is the only full solution to the coverage gap crisis.”
Join our campaign to accept federal funds for BadgerCare.