Members with June renewals should submit by June 16 to avoid gaps in coverage
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) reminds residents who are BadgerCare Plus or Wisconsin Medicaid members that renewals are underway, and there is a "just right" time to renew to avoid delays or gaps in coverage. For example, on May 15, DHS sent renewal packets to approximately 53,000 Wisconsin households scheduled to renew in June.
DHS encourages these members to submit their renewals by June 16 to avoid any gaps in coverage. Packets are in the mail to members with a July renewal date and they should send in updated information by July 18 to avoid coverage gaps. The new DHS renewal status webpage shows the "just right" renewal period for each month. Members are encouraged to renew online at ACCESS.wi.gov or by mail.
"If a member is still eligible, we want them to keep their state coverage. If they’re not, we want to help connect them to resources to help them find other options. Either way, the process starts with submitting their renewal," said State Medicaid Director Jamie Kuhn. "It’s been more than three years since any of our members have done one and for many, it’s the first time. That’s why we’re working hard to get the word out and why we’re sharing information with more than 100 partner organizations from all over the state to help raise awareness and provide assistance."
During renewals, members share whether there have been any changes in their employment, income, expenses, or household size. Based on that information, local and tribal agencies determine whether members still meet the rules for their state health care program. Renewing by the mid-month dates provided in members’ renewal letters gives those agencies time to ask for more information, if needed. For members who can’t stay on BadgerCare Plus or Medicaid, this provides more time to find new coverage.
Members will find their renewal month in the letter they received in March, in the MyACCESS smartphone app, or on the ACCESS website, and can check the "just right" renewal period for each month on the DHS website. They can also sign up to get email reminders when it’s time to act.
Members can complete renewals in multiple ways: online at ACCESS.wi.gov, through the mail using the paper form they got in the mail, or over the phone with a call center representative for their agency. Call volume is high already, so DHS strongly encourages members to use one of the other options if they can. Knowing that call centers will be helping a lot of members, the state introduced a callback feature this year. Near the beginning of their calls, members hear the average hold time and may have the opportunity to opt for a representative to call them back when it’s their turn, rather than waiting on hold.
Members who find out they can’t keep their state health benefits may be able to find new coverage by checking with their employer or visiting HealthCare.gov. Covering Wisconsin, the state’s federally certified health insurance navigator agency, offers free assistance to help people understand their health insurance options, determine if financial assistance is available, and sign up. People can reach Covering Wisconsin at 877-942-6837 or contact 211 to be connected to navigators in their area. The WisCovered.com website also offers a range of resources to help people looking for new coverage get started.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the federal government required DHS to maintain the enrollment of BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid members. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 provided a timeline for phasing out this policy and DHS announced in March 2023 that the first renewals would begin in June. Currently 1.6 million members are enrolled in BadgerCare Plus or Medicaid, so agencies will be processing renewals for more households than ever while keeping up with their regular workloads.