Getting around those Walker roadblocks to Obamacare in Wisconsin

Allow me to preface this post by saying that National Nurses United were right: we need “Medicare for all“.

But here we are.
We Wisconsinites have Obamacare.
Or do we?

Wisconsin is getting the least amount of help with understanding this program of any state in the nation:

“Wisconsin’s per-capita spending to explain and market the Affordable Care Act is the lowest in the nation at 46 cents per person”

That info. is from Left out: Wisconsin struggles to reach uninsured for health care signup

Would it surprise you to learn that not only does Wisconsin get the least amount in educational money, but the Walker administration is achingly slow to transfer federal grant money to the agencies that are supposed to EDUCATE US ABOUT OBAMACARE? The administration that cheers when bureaucracy is removed for business has used red tape to slow down the delivery of healthcare to Wisconsin’s PUBLIC:

From WPR, dated October 24:
Only one of the six state agencies that received federal navigator funding has actually begun doing what they were funded to do. The other five agencies have gotten federal certification, but they’re still working with the office of the state commissioner of insurance to get state certification to allow them to begin counseling and referring people to the plans they’re eligible for.

Bobby Petersen of the health advocacy group ABC for Health says the state has made it extremely difficult for the navigators to begin their work.“Hoops and hurdles that the state of Wisconsin added – their own layer of licensing requirements, criminal background checks, [and] fingerprinting, which slowed down the process and made it difficult for people to get the help they need.”

The one agency with funding for Obamacare education NOW is CEP Inc. That agency will serve 20 northern counties and 4 cities where high speed internet is least likely to be cheap – or to even exist.

The internet. About the internet.

The federal site has been deplorable. It’s ridiculous.

Yet, we know in our gut that it’s easier to deal with a complex thing like healthcare enrollment if we have the help of a REAL human expert.

A 2012 national study found that 75 percent surveyed want to have one-on-one help with a person – – not a web site — when enrolling in healthcare.

I suspect Wisconsin’s Badgercare and Badgercare Plus folks would appreciate some in-person help with ACA right about now (or yesterday).

CKFWI estimates that 257,434 Wisconsinites will be impacted by Walker’s Badgercare changes and an estimated 92,000 Badgercare Plus folks will be peeled off rolls according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

So, 92,000 people, we are told by our Tea Party Governor, are going to use Obamacare. But will they get from here to there?

Does a Governor who wants to drown government really care?
Does he care too much?*

There ARE still 154 days until the deadline for enrollment [as I write this].

HELP?

IF YOU ARE ON BADGERCARE OR BADGERCARE PLUS:
You probably got a confusing letter from the state by now. Go here for some help on understanding that.

GETTING HELP WITH OBAMACARE FOR YOURSELF:

DRIVE THERE
Here’s a link where you can put in your zip code to find the nearest place where a flesh’n’blood person can help you deal with this: FIND LOCAL HELP

Some rural folks will need to drive 25 miles and more to get help.
Keep in mind there will be more places to go to in the near future (as the WI insurance commissioner releases that grant money to the agencies it’s intended for).

THE PHONE NUMBERS:
You can call.
1-800-318-2596
TTY: 1-855-889-4325

Small businesses resources
Have questions about the SHOP Marketplace for businesses with 50 or fewer employees?
Call: 1-800-706-7893
TTY: 1-800-706-7915
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. Agents and brokers may also use this number.

YOU CAN CHAT WITH SOMEBODY ONLINE:
Go here.

YOU CAN USE THE FEDERAL OBAMACARE WEB SITE: If you’d like to try it–>
https://www.healthcare.gov/

GIVING HELP:

BECOME AN EXPERT NAVIGATOR or CAC:
Becoming an expert with this will be a byzantine and time-consuming process any way you slice it.

Perhaps a few of my readers have what it takes to become a “Navigator” or a “Certified Application Counselor”.
How to become a Navigator
How to become a Certified Application Counselor

According to BizTimes of Milwaukee, these are the organization s that were awarded Navigator grants for aiding Wisconsinites with ACA. These agencies will be the ones coming to your local towns to help in the near future:

Partners for Community Development Inc. ($315,720) for reaching out to Hispanic and Hmong families in Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Ozaukee and Sheboygan Counties.
Contact: 920-459-2782

Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program Inc. ($285,035) to provide Marketplace Navigator services at 21 Wisconsin Job Centers with outreach provided at libraries, senior centers and college campuses by existing staff that have experience working with diverse populations.

Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor and Washburn Counties
Contact: 715-682-9141

Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Juneau, Vernon, and Crawford Counties
Contact 608-789-5627

Menomonie and Eau Claire Counties and the cities of Chippewa Falls, Rice Lake, New Richmond and Hudson
Contact: 715-232-7380, ext.1013

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc./SeniorLAW ($70,000) to target elderly in Milwaukee,Racine, Kenosha, Washington, Ozaukee, Walworth and Waukesha Counties.
Contact: 414-278-1222

National Council of Urban Indian Health ($35,000) to promote urban Indian health.
The Wisconsin organization partnering with the Council is Gerald L Ignace Indian Health Center in Milwaukee, serving American Indians and Alaska natives.
Contact: 414-383-9526

National Healthy Start Association ($191,667) to improve birth outcomes and health disparities.
The Wisconsin organization partnering with this association is the Milwaukee Healthy Beginnings Project, serving communities of color. It is located with the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin.
Contact: 414-933-0064

R&B Receivables Management Corporation DBA R&B Solutions ($104,520) to connect uninsured and underinsured individuals with coverage options to help them afford health care.

They will work in Kenosha and Racine counties.
Contact: 800-283-0310 x7016 or 262-653-5753

*
“Some will portray this as not caring about people; I think it’s just the opposite. I care too much about the people of this state not to empower them to control their own destiny. I care too much about their future, and I think you do, too, and I think most people, you sit down over a breakfast table with a cup of coffee and a piece of toast — most people, if they had the time to talk about it, most people understand, even for those people who today are on food stamps or unemployed, looking for work, I would argue the vast majority of the people in this state who are temporarily without employment would tell you that what they want more than anything is the chance to have a job again. They want the chance to step up and take on that job, take on that opportunity, take care of their own family, those are the people who are truly courageous. Not people who are engaged in political battles ….”
From a February 2013 Scott Walker speech on “reforming” Medicaid, food stamps and unemployment compensation.
37 minute speech on Wisconsin Eye
Partial transcript on Politifact

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Getting around those Walker roadblocks to Obamacare in Wisconsin

  1. I got on the site and will get the same policy for half the price.

    That is money I can now spend on food and clothing in my local community.
    Please encourage people to investigate for themselves and not listen to all the people who have insurance and only know what they hear on tv.

  2. First, Jeff, how much did the corporate shills pay you to post that? LOL.
    Second, I was able to get onto the website and use it quite easily a few days ago. The challenge is if you’re self-employed, it’s difficult to get specifics on what you’ll actually pay for a plan. The figures are intimidating–about $1500 for a plan I now pay $300 for, but of course, it’s all about what my income is this year which is hard to predict each year. One option if you’re self-employed is to try a private insurance plan–google “health insurance wisconsin” and get a broker who can compare plans. I got into a big group with fantastic coverage, which all my doctors take, and was told that many groups are opening up. However, that was mid-August; I don’t know if the situation has changed. It’s worth checking–this was the best deal I’ve gotten in about 18 years on the private market. I’m sure it was due to the marketplace changes spurred on by the ACA. I’ll check into the exchanges at a later point. For now, $300/mo. w/no copays or deductibles for a family works for me.

  3. For those that are income eligible for BadgerCare, here is a response I got from the website e-mail: Right now there is no BadgerCare Plan for adults without dependent children. However, as of November 18th you can apply for BadgerCare Plus and if enrolled, it would take effect January 1, 2014. To be enrolled in BadgerCare your monthly income must be at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) which is $957.50/month for a single adult. You can apply through the consortium or on ACCESS at https://access.wisconsin.gov/ after November 18.

    Thank you for contacting us via the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s