Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Press Release

Iowa a Model for How Wisconsin Can Accept Federal Funds for BadgerCare

Iowa Has Same Eligibility, Mix of Public and Private Insurance, but Feds Pay for it and make affordable for consumers

By - Jan 20th, 2015 01:46 pm

Statewide – On a media call today, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, and State Representative Daniel Riemer revealed a new option for Wisconsin to accept the federal Medicaid funds on its own terms. An audio recording of the call can be downloaded here.

The Iowa plan has the same mix of public and private insurance, and the same eligibility levels for Medicaid as Wisconsin. The difference is the Federal government pays the cost of expansion, and also uses Federal Medicaid dollars to make private health insurance affordable for people just above the poverty line.

If Wisconsin requested a federal Medicaid waiver like the one already approved by the federal government for Iowa, the upcoming state budget could save an estimated $315 million in the biennium and working families could save hundreds or even thousands per year in lower health costs.

“The Iowa fix for BadgerCare is a win-win, making health care more affordable to health consumers just above the poverty line, and saving the state hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

The following chart compares the Iowa plan to current law in Wisconsin.

Table: Comparing 40 year old applicant just over federal poverty line, Iowa vs Wisconsin geographic areas

Premium monthly1 Out-of-Pocket2 Per Person, more than Iowa, annually Eligible3,4
Iowa, statewide5 $06 $0 148,000
Milwaukee $20 $50 – $760 +$290 – $1,000 21,959
Madison $20 $0 – $700 +$240 – $940 4,489
La Crosse $20 $500 – $700 +$740 – $940 4,193
Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls $20 $250 – $500 +$490 – $740 2,680
Central Wisconsin7 $20 $500 +$740 7,091
Green Bay $21 $50 – $760 +$302 – $1,012 3,367
Appleton/Oshkosh $20 $0 – $1,200 +$240 – $1,440 4,324
Twin Cities area, WI side8 $20 $50 – $1,000 +$290 – $1,240 2,036
Dubuque area, WI side9 $20 $400 +$640 1,288
Waukesha $21 $400 +$652 2,506
Superior $20 $250 – $500 +$490 – $740 800
Sheboygan/Manitowoc $21 $50 – $760 +$290 – $1,000 2,628
Janesvillle/Beloit $20 $0 – $700 +$240 – $940 3,115
Fond du Lac $20 $400 +$640 1,244
Racine/Kenosha $20 $50 – $760 +$290 – $1,000 6,282
Rhinelander $20 $500 +$740 644

1 – Monthly premium for 2nd lowest cost silver plan, 40 year old applicant, $12,000 annual income, source Healthcare.gov

2 – Range between deductible and out of pocket maximum, 2nd lowest cost silver plan, 40 year old, $12,000, source Healthcare.gov

3 – Iowa Medicaid eligible, source

4 – Wisconsin County level Medicaid eligible, source

5 – Results the same for all counties within Iowa, source Kaiser Family Foundation

6 – $0 for first year, $10 second year but waived with wellness check, source Kaiser Family Foundation

7 – Includes Marathon, Wood & Portage counties

8 – Includes St Croix, Pierce & Polk Counties

9 – Grant County, Wisconsin

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