Health Insurance Coverage and Badgercare Enrollment: Changes Begin October 1st

Signed into law March 2010, The Affordable Care Act is a fundamental transformation of health insurance in the United States.  It intends to ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care starting January 1, 2014. It further requires most Americans to carry a base level of insurance coverage.  The Internal Revenue Service will impose a payment penalty if you choose to remain uninsured.  There are some exemptions from the mandatory insurance requirement.

 

The Health Insurance Marketplace (online website that provides information) will help you review your options, and provides access to the necessary insurance coverage.  The Marketplace will allow you to shop around for a health plan that fits your needs.  You may also qualify for a tax subsidy, depending on your household income and family size.  You may contact your local insurance agent or healthcare provider for assistance or visit www.healthcare.gov or call the Marketplace toll-free at (800) 318-2596 to learn more.  The Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment begins October 1, 2013.

 

There are changes to the qualifications for the Badgercare program also. If you use Badgercare, you will receive a letter from the State of Wisconsin notifying you of the changes and if you still qualify.  If you no longer qualify for Badgercare the letter will direct you to the Marketplace system to find coverage. If you have questions when you read the letter, contact BadgerCare at (800) 362-3002 or TYY at (855) 889-4325. (These are the toll-free phone numbers on the back of your Forward insurance card.)

 

Protect yourself from con artists and scammers.  Unfortunately, scam artists and criminals may take advantage of citizens due to these changes and attempt to confuse and defraud the public.  Some have gone door to door urging consumers to obtain coverage in a non-existent “limited enrollment” period that they falsely claim was made possible by the new regulation.  If there is any doubt, immediately report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.

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