Gov. Tony Evers, Dept. of Health Services and Insurance Commission: Announce Health Care Coverage Partnership

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MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) today launched a Health Care Coverage Partnership aimed at enrolling more Wisconsinites in high-quality, affordable health insurance coverage. The partnership will focus on supporting outreach and enrollment, improving coordination between DHS and OCI, and promoting overall wellbeing.

“As I’ve said before, this administration is committed to connecting the dots,” said Gov. Evers. “We are helping Wisconsin residents get connected to quality affordable health coverage through the individual market or Medicaid.”

“Through Medicaid expansion, Wisconsin has a great opportunity to improve coverage and access under this budget,” said Secretary-designee Palm. “While we continue to work with the legislature to enact the Governor’s budget, this partnership will inject new energy into efforts to enroll individuals and families in high quality, affordable health coverage.”

“Not only will expanding Medicaid extend health care coverage to 82,000 Wisconsinites, but it will also strengthen the individual health insurance market,” said Insurance Commissioner Mark V. Afable. “The more we educate consumers, the more likely they are to either find an individual health plan or to enroll in Medicaid. Working families need to know their options, and we are committed to making sure they are prepared to select the health insurance plan that works best for them.”

The Health Care Coverage Partnership will:

  • Support an outreach and enrollment initiative to educate consumers on their options by promoting the use of HealthCare.gov and availability of support through insurance agents and navigators;
  • Engage with stakeholders, which will include DHS, OCI, consumer and community organizations, health insurance companies, and health care systems, to guide the partnership’s efforts to strengthen health insurance markets;
  • Work with members of the legislature, federal officials, and other partners to implement Gov. Tony Evers’ Medicaid expansion proposal in a fiscally responsible way; and
  • Promote health and reduce costs for Wisconsin families. The partnership will support individuals with Medicaid coverage and help individuals smoothly transition from Medicaid to private coverage.

A letter announcing the partnership was sent to the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance today.

Medicaid expansion would cover 82,000 Wisconsinites, draw down $1.6 billion in new federal funding, and strengthen the individual market. OCI recently released a report from an independent actuarial firm originally hired by the Walker administration that found expanding Medicaid could help lower health insurance premiums on the individual market by 7 to 11 percent.