Federal Government Gives Those Who Lost BadgerCare Second Chance To Get On Exchange

Sen. Tammy Baldwin's Request For Special Enrollment Period Is Granted

Sen. Tammy Baldwin had requested the special health insurance enrollment period. Photo: Gateway Technical College (CC-BY-ND).

The federal government has granted U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s request for a special health insurance enrollment period in Wisconsin for people who lost BadgerCare coverage and didn’t sign up for health coverage through the federal marketplace.

The special enrollment period starts immediately and runs through Nov. 2.

When asked by reporters earlier this week about Baldwin’s request for a special enrollment period, Walker said those no longer eligible for BadgerCare had other options and there was no coverage gap.

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“So I think this is a situation where someone (Baldwin) is looking for a problem that doesn’t exist,” said Walker. “We are the only state in America that does not have an insurance gap.”

Records from the state Health Services Department show that most of the people who lost BadgerCare didn’t sign up for private insurance sold on the marketplace. Baldwin said that potentially leaves some 38,000 people without coverage.

They can now get it during the special enrollment period, but David Riemer, a senior fellow with Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, said they have to be aware of that option.

“Everybody, particularly Governor Walker’s secretary of Health Services and the people in the state agency that runs Badgercare, need to turn their attention to get these people health insurance,” said Riemer.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services said the agency has agreed with federal official’s request to send letters to former BadgerCare members informing them of the additional 60-day window they now have to purchase health insurance on the federal exchange.