FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2019
Contact:
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683

Lieutenant Governor Barnes, DHS Secretary-designee, and the Commissioner of Insurance Tour 211 Call Center to Help Wisconsinites Find Health Insurance

Today Wisconsin Lt. Governor Barnes, Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, and the Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable toured the United Way of Dane County’s 211 regional call center to promote the open enrollment period for HealthCare.gov. For the first time 211 call centers will be available statewide to Wisconsin residents for help to enroll in health insurance.

“We must ensure all Wisconsinites have access to quality, affordable health care,” said DHS Secretary-designee Palm. “That’s why during this year’s open enrollment Governor Evers' state agencies, alongside so many statewide partners including United Way are helping Wisconsinites get covered. Residents can call 211 or visit GetCovered.WI.Gov to get connected to a health insurance expert and find the health insurance plan they need and can afford.”

Once residents call 211, they will get connected to either in-person, local help or a health insurance expert over the phone. These experts will help Wisconsinites understand their health care options, determine if they’re eligible for BadgerCare Plus, a Wisconsin Medicaid program, or help them choose a plan on HealthCare.gov.

“We’re seeing the health and well-being of many Wisconsin residents suffer because of a lack of access to affordable health insurance. Our administration wants to make sure all Wisconsinites know their options so they can get covered,” said Lt. Governor Barnes. “With quality and affordable health care everyone in Wisconsin, regardless of zip code, can have the opportunity to thrive.”

“Finding the right health insurance can seem intimidating but there are so many resources available to help folks find the best option to meet their needs and their budgets,” said Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable. “In Dane County, there are three health insurance carriers to choose from. Even if you already have an insurance plan, you can take advantage of open enrollment to take a second look and find the best plan for you. And with plans available at lower rates on average, you may even find a more affordable option.”

According to the Wisconsin 2018 Family Health Survey, an estimated 7 percent of Wisconsin residents were without health insurance for part or all of the past year. This represents approximately 402,000 Wisconsinites. 55% of Wisconsin residents without health insurance are low-income (e.g., income of less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level).

United Way of Dane County is helping low-income individuals and families get insured by offering a free health insurance premium subsidy for residents makings less than 150% of the Federal Poverty Level. HealthConnect makes health insurance more affordable for people with tight budgets. It pays the balance of monthly premiums for certain plans purchased through HealthCare.gov.

To see if you qualify, check out our HealthConnect website and application or call United Way 211 for a printed form. HealthConnect is available on a first-come, first-serve basis as long as resources remain available.

Open enrollment events are being held across Wisconsin to help residents get access to coverage that will fit their needs. A list of open enrollment events can be found at GetCovered.WI.gov.