$23 Million Federal Bonus Rewards Wisconsin for Cutting Red Tape to Cover Uninsured Kids

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 3:09 AM by

Wisconsin received a $23 million federal bonus today for the state’s success in improving access to health insurance for children by simplifying BadgerCare enrollment and renewal procedures. The 2010 bonus payment for Wisconsin, which is the second largest among the bonuses to 15 states this year, rewards the state for improving enrollment of low-income, Medicaid-eligible children by removing red-tape and other barriers to enrollment and renewal. 

You can read more in today’s WCCF blog post, or in the WCCF press release.  However, I’d like to stress a few key points that I should have highlighted more prominently in those summaries:

  1. As a result of the bonus funding for about 85,500 Medicaid children in Wisconsin, coupled with the Recovery Act’s enhanced cost-sharing, the state will pay only about 13 percent of the $138 million cost of covering those children.
  2. Federal bonus funding will be available to states for 3 more years, and Wisconsin will be eligible for very substantial bonus payments in each of those years, if lawmakers don’t reverse the progress the state has made in improving the BadgerCare Plus application and renewal procedures.
  3. The enhanced federal percentage of costs provided by the bonus formula will become even more important in the coming years when the Recovery Act’s enhanced Medicaid funding is gone, because the state share of Medicaid costs will grow from 30 percent to 40 percent (prior to calculating the bonus amounts).  

Jon Peacock

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