Less Than One-Third Of People Removed From Medicaid Rolls Signed Up On Health Exchange

About 63K Residents Were Removed From Program Last Year

Deputy Health Services Secretary Kevin Moore says there are multiple reasons why so many people who were removed from Medicaid rolls did not sign up for insurance on the health exchange. Image courtesy of WPT.

Less than a third of Wisconsin residents who lost Medicaid coverage found replacement health care by purchasing private plans on the federal exchange.

Only about 19,000 of the 62,776 people formerly on BadgerCare Plus made the transition to private insurance by buying coverage on the federal exchange — far fewer than the Walker administration expected.

On the other hand, 97,000 childless adults also signed up for Medicaid, a figure that’s higher than what was expected.

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“That’s obviously a good thing,” said Bobby Peterson with ABC for Health. “But it would have been better to let the Feds pay 100 percent of the cost of that.”

The Walker administration rejected extra federal funding under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid, and instead chose to use state funds. Refusal to take the additional federal dollars is estimated to cost the state more than $100 million in the current two-year budget, and more in the future.

Deputy Health Services Secretary Kevin Moore said the addition of 97,000 childless adults is a significant step towards reducing the state’s number of uninsured. As for those kicked of BadgerCare who haven’t purchased private insurance on the marketplace, he said there are various reasons why.

“We believe that a lot of those folks may have gone back on their employer-sponsored health insurance,” said Moore. “They may have gotten insurance through a spouse’s plan or ultimately they may have decided not to purchase and just take the penalty.”

State insurance officials say overall, 133,000 Wisconsinites bought insurance on the federal marketplace. Officials don’t know how many of those people previously were uninsured.

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