Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Wisconsin’s Medicaid Program Starts to Resume Routine Operations
BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid members should update contact information if it has changed to ensure they get benefit renewal instructions
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is notifying all Wisconsinites enrolled in BadgerCare Plus or another Medicaid program they will need to renew their benefits by an assigned due date between June 2023 and May 2024. Members should wait until they receive their renewal packet to complete their renewal. Members should also make sure DHS has their current address, phone number, and email so they can get essential information and renew their benefits by their assigned due date. The easiest way for members to update their contact information is at access.wi.gov or by using the free MyACCESS app. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the federal government required DHS to allow BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid members to maintain health care coverage. This policy is ending due to federal legislation passed in December 2022 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023). As of January 2023, there are over 1.6 million members enrolled in BadgerCare Plus or Medicaid.
“We are asking all members to watch their mailbox, read the letters from DHS, and act by their renewal deadline,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Deb Standridge. “The earliest BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid members will begin to renew their benefits is mid-May 2023. Our priority is ensuring Wisconsinites continue to have health care coverage – whether through our state programs, an employer, or through HealthCare.gov. Free help is available through our partners for anyone who will need health care coverage and need assistance to understand their options and how to enroll.”
“We appreciate all our partners, and we have been working closely with our local, tribal, and regional agency partners to prepare for what will be unprecedented levels of activity,” said Medicaid Director Jamie Kuhn. “All our partners have been working hard to prepare for this first of its kind transition. We are all ready to serve.”
BadgerCare Plus and Supplement Security Income (SSI) health plans, insurance navigators, and community-based organizations will reach out to members to help them understand the renewal process and take action at the right time in 2023 or 2024 to ensure they have health care coverage. Members who need to transition to other health insurance should check with their employer about health benefits or can visit HealthCare.gov to find low-cost insurance plans. Covering Wisconsin, the state’s health insurance navigator agency, also provides free assistance to anyone who needs more information or technical support. Navigators are a free community resource and can help members understand the renewal process, fill out applications, upload documents, or find plans and financial assistance on HealthCare.gov. People can also visit WisCovered.com to learn more about options, webchat with a navigator, or find free, local help.
"We want the public to know that Wisconsin has a free resource ready to help with your health insurance questions and complications,” said Covering Wisconsin Director Allison Espeseth. “Navigators – and other enrollment assisters around the state – are specially trained to guide you through your coverage options and next steps. This includes figuring out if you may still qualify for Medicaid, have an affordable option available from your job, or could get financial help for plans from Healthcare.gov.”
Households enrolled in BadgerCare Plus or another Wisconsin Medicaid program will receive a letter in March or April with their assigned renewal date between June 2023 and May 2024. Electronic versions of these letters are also available at access.wi.gov. Members will receive a renewal packet in the mail 45 days before their due date letting them know that it is time to renew. The packet will also be available in their ACCESS account. Members should not renew until they receive this packet. Under federal guidelines, DHS must keep members covered until their next renewal. Renewing early could result in members losing coverage earlier than their assigned renewal date.
DHS will send text and email messages to members who have cell phone numbers and email addresses on file to remind them when they need to take action and complete their renewal. Call volumes to the agencies that help members with their benefits will be high over this year-long process, so members are encouraged to complete their renewal online at access.wi.gov or return the renewal packet by mail. Members can also use access.wi.gov or the MyACCESS app to update their contact information, check their benefits, or upload requested documents without having to go through a call center. Members are encouraged to check their contact information and make sure it is up to date. This will ensure members receive their renewal letters and other information by mail at the right address.
Information about Wisconsin’s efforts to unwind its temporary COVID-19 policies, the Medicaid renewal process, and program-specific details are available on the DHS website. A partner toolkit is available on the DHS website that includes materials organizations can use to share important messages. A provider toolkit is also available for health care providers to raise awareness with members when they come in for care.
In addition to the Medicaid renewal process restarting because of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, Wisconsin, like other states and the federal government, is planning for the end of the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 on May 11, 2023. Over the coming months, DHS will provide updates about how the federal government’s transition out of the public health emergency will impact Wisconsin and how DHS remains committed to protecting and promoting the health and safety of Wisconsinites from COVID-19 and ensuring everyone has the necessary tools to:
- Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and stay home if you are sick.
- Get tested if you have symptoms or are exposed. Wisconsinites can order two free COVID-19 self-test kits every month.
- Get treatment and medication if you need them.
- Get the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
Visit the DHS website for more information about COVID-19.