Home > Assistance Program For Health Premiums Sees Fewer Enrolled Than Expected
Assistance Program For Health Premiums Sees Fewer Enrolled Than Expected
United Way Thought They Would Help 6,000, but Only 170 Signed Up To Date
By Shamane Mills
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 8:54pm
The majority of those signing up for health insurance on the federal exchange in Wisconsin are getting financial help paying the premiums, but a local program offering additional assistance for the very poor has not been as popular.
When a program called HealthConnect was introduced in Dane County, it was estimated it would help over 6,000 people get extra money to pay premiums for plans bought on the federal health exchange. So far, only 170 people have enrolled: far fewer than hoped.
Jay Young is with United Way, the organization that oversees HealthConnect. He said local health subsidies are available to those earning between 100 percent and 133 percent of the poverty level. Many of those people were on BadgerCare, but the state changed eligibility rules.
“We know that a lot of these families actually have been on public assistance and they are being transitioned off of it for the very first time, so they may not know all the ins and outs of obtaining private health insurance,” said Young.
Open enrollment on the federal exchange will end March 31. Young says the local subsidy program, HealthConnect, will continue until money runs out.