|Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839|
Gov. Walker: Wisconsin receives approval for Gov. Walker’s BadgerCare Plus welfare reform for childless adults
|MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) today received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the section 1115 demonstration waiver, known as the BadgerCare Reform demonstration waiver. It contains several welfare reforms, many of which were included in 2015 Wisconsin Act 55, aimed at bolstering Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to help people move from government dependence to true independence.
“With more people working in Wisconsin than ever before, we can’t afford to have anyone on the sidelines: we need everyone in the game,” said Governor Walker. “We want to remove barriers to work and make it easier to get a job, while making sure public assistance is available for those who truly need it. Wisconsin is leading the way on welfare reform, and we thank CMS Administrator Seema Verma for her support.”
The current waiver, which allows Wisconsin to offer the BadgerCare Plus (Medicaid) standard benefit plan to adults without dependent children, ages 19-64, also known as the childless adult population, expires on December 31, 2018. The approved waiver amendment establishes policies that will promote improved health outcomes, increase participants ability to obtain and maintain employment and employer sponsored healthcare, and familiarizes individuals with private health insurance practices.
“I support and share Governor Walker’s commitment to helping adults on Medicaid achieve independence and self-sufficiency through community engagement,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “This approval also includes a number of other innovative enhancements designed to strengthen BadgerCare, including a pioneering new health risk assessment program to help enrollees identify their own health risks, reward healthy behaviors, and support health plans’ ability to address beneficiary health issues in a more timely and complete manner. As we evaluate their results, I expect these reforms may serve as a model for states looking to tackle the drivers of poor health and improve outcomes for individuals.”
The policy changes approved in the waiver amendment include:
Finally, the waiver discontinues premiums for parents and caretaker relatives who qualify for transitional medical assistance. The policy changes listed above do not affect the elderly, blind and disabled population or caregivers, children and pregnant women eligible for BadgerCare Plus or Wisconsin Medicaid. However, the expanded access to treatment for substance abuse disorder will be available to this population as well.
Final implementation of these policy changes is expected to be at least one year from approval. In the coming months, DHS will work with members, stakeholders, and the public across the state to get valuable input, suggestions, and feedback to help us build our implementation plan. DHS will be releasing information, as it is available, on our webpage.
The approved waiver amendment application is available at: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/badgercareplus/clawaiver-approvedapp.pdf .
Learn more about the approved BadgerCare Reform Demonstration Waiver.