New Milwaukee County Health Care Enrollment Analysis Report Published

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ForwardHealth Community Partners

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Updates for local agencies, community-based organizations, and providers who provide assistance to members of Wisconsin's health and nutrition public assistance programs.

New Milwaukee County Health Care Enrollment Analysis Report Published

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has published a new report examining the reasons why new applicants were denied or lost eligibility for health care programs in Milwaukee County in 2017. Partners may be interested in the report’s findings, as they may help to guide outreach activities and other initiatives to help members maintain their benefits.

A main focus of the report is the issue of “churn” within Wisconsin’s health care programs. Churn describes a situation in which a person loses eligibility for a program, then regains it at a later date. In many cases, people experiencing churn could have maintained continuous coverage had they taken a required action.

Some key report conclusions included:

  • The average monthly rate of churn was 0.8%.
  • 55% of churn cases were preventable.
  • Overwhelmingly, the two most common causes of preventable denials, closures, and churn were not completing an application or renewal, and not providing verification or information
  • Losing eligibility and regaining it within three months was strongly associated with not providing verification or information.
  • Losing eligibility and regaining it between three and twelve months later was strongly associated with not paying a premium.

Recently, DHS has made investments in two interventions and made a policy change that addresses these issues.

  • The administrative renewal process allows for redeterminations of health care eligibility without requiring information from members when their information can be verified through data exchanges.
  • In February of 2019, DHS launched the MyACCESS mobile application which allows users to check their benefits, be reminded of actions they need to take through push notifications, and submit documents needed for their cases.
    • The application provides a clear and simple way for people to track the status of their case, know when the renewal is due, and when verification or information is needed to process their case.
    • The application also enables users to submit verification by taking a photo of the needed document and uploading it to the application.
  • Due to a recent policy change, effective January 1, 2019, premiums are no longer required of parents and caretakers enrolled in a BadgerCare Plus extension.

View the full report.