Press Release: Gov. Evers, Insurance Commissioner Houdek Recognize 13 Years of the Affordable Care Act

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers, Insurance Commissioner Houdek Recognize 13 Years of the Affordable Care Act
Governor continues fight to join majority of states across country by expanding BadgerCare
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, together with Office of the Commissioner Insurance (OCI) Commissioner Nathan Houdek, today recognized the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the many positive impacts the ACA has had, including ensuring healthcare coverage for the millions of Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions. In 2019, the governor delivered on his promise to withdraw the state from a Republican-led lawsuit that would have gutted the ACA, kicked thousands of Wisconsinites off their healthcare, and put 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have a pre-existing condition at risk. 

“Thirteen years ago, the passage of the Affordable Care Act transformed our country, ensuring millions of people right here in Wisconsin today have life-saving healthcare coverage. I was proud to deliver on my promise to withdraw from the lawsuit that could’ve gutted healthcare for millions, and I’m proud of our continued work every day to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare across our state,” said Gov. Evers. “We should be doing everything we can to make sure we have healthy kids, healthy families, and healthy communities, and it’s why we’ll continue to fight to lower prescription and insulin costs, invest in infant and maternal health, and expand BadgerCare in Wisconsin.”

Gov. Evers has been working to ensure every Wisconsinite has access to quality, affordable healthcare since first being elected governor more than four years ago. 

A key part of the governor’s 2023-25 biennial budget proposal—and his last two biennial budget proposals—is expanding Medicaid, known as BadgerCare in Wisconsin, under the ACA by covering all low-income individuals who earn incomes between 0 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level. As a result, the state would be able to provide affordable health insurance coverage to nearly 90,000 Wisconsinites, including approximately 30,000 individuals who are currently uninsured, while improving health outcomes, drawing down an additional $2.2 billion in federal funds, and saving the state more than $1.6 billion over the biennium. It would also enable the reinvestment of those savings into Wisconsin’s healthcare systems, communities, and people across the state. With North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper expected to sign expansion into law imminently after receiving legislative approval, Wisconsin will be only one of 10 states in the country and the only state of its Midwest neighbors that has not yet expanded Medicaid. Additional information on the governor’s plan to increase the access to and affordability of healthcare in Wisconsin, including his plan to expand BadgerCare, is available here

As a result of the ACA’s requirement that health insurance companies spend a certain amount of premiums on medical care expenses, Wisconsin residents received over $12 million in rebates in 2021

“The ACA has strengthened our health care system by guaranteeing that most health insurance premiums are spent directly on health care services,” said Insurance Commissioner Houdek. “From hospitalizations to mental health and substance use disorder services to pediatric care and pregnancy-related care, the ACA has ensured coverage of services that help keep Wisconsinites healthy.” 

The ACA has also given Wisconsin the flexibility to operate the successful Wisconsin Healthcare Stability Plan (WIHSP). WIHSP was created by a bipartisan bill signed into law in 2018 and implemented under Gov. Evers. WIHSP has helped keep rates low while increasing choice for consumers every year it has been in operation. Wisconsin has one of the most competitive health insurance marketplaces in the country, ranking second nationwide in the number of participating insurers. Thanks to bipartisan support, WIHSP has been fully funded in each of the last two state biennial budgets, and the governor has proposed to continue fully funding WIHSP to stabilize the individual healthcare market and lower premiums for Wisconsinites in his 2023-25 budget. 

“The Wisconsin Healthcare Stability Plan has helped hold down rates and ensure that affordable coverage is accessible for everyone in Wisconsin,” continued Commissioner Houdek. “Last year, over 221,000 Wisconsinites took advantage of the affordable, high-quality health insurance options in our competitive marketplace—Wisconsin’s highest enrollment since the 2018 Open Enrollment Period.”

Wisconsinites may still be able to get enrolled in a plan available on the healthcare marketplace if they have a qualifying life event such as losing health coverage, getting married, or having a baby. Additionally, Tribal members and their families may enroll in coverage on the marketplace at any time. Wisconsinites can learn more about their coverage options by calling (877) 947-2211 or visiting
An online version of this release is available here.