HWW Update


HWW Update
Home About HealthWatch Annual Conference Training Publications
Vol. 10, No. 22 December 12, 2014
Now Announcing Anticipated Workshop Topics!

Early Bird Registration is open for the 8th Annual HealthWatch Wisconsin Conference: "R U Covered?" The conference will take place on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the Best Western Inn on the Park in downtown Madison, WI.

Join ABC for Health staff, legislators, policy makers, and advocates as we discuss health coverage connections: How to get, use, & keep public and private insurance. Hear how new policies and procedures impact the families you help.

Anticipated Plenary and Workshop Topics:

  • Panel of State Legislators
  • BadgerCare Plus Updates: Parents, Children & Childless Adults
  • Making Health Coverage Connections
  • Consortia Roundtable & Regional Enrollment Network Reports
  • How to Get, Use & Keep Badger Care Plus
  • The Impact of Health Reform on Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
  • Marketplace Troubleshooting
  • Evaluating Adults for Disability Programs Including MAPP
  • Advanced Marketplace Questions
  • Women's Health Coverage
  • Reinvigorating your HealthWatch Coalition
  • Meet the Troubleshooters
  • Now that you have insurance...how do you use it?!

Sign up by December 31 to receive Early Bird Prices. Remember HealthWatch Wisconsin Members get significant discounts to the annual conference! Not a member? You can join HealthWatch and register for the conference at the same time! See pricing break down below:

  • Students: $60
  • HealthWatch Members: $120
  • Membership + Member Rate: $155
  • Full Conference Price: $315

Ways to Register for the Conference:

In this issue...

We update you on the Annual Conference, take a look at the next deadline in the Marketplace, analyze the BadgerCare Plus enrollment numbers for November, and more! We also get you caught up on Provider Memos, Ops Memos and showcase some great articles from the past two weeks. Of course, we bring you case tips and a news round-up, per usual!

Thanks to all of the current members, subscribers, and supporters--you make the HealthWatch Update possible!

HealthWatch members and subscribers, click on the red button below to start reading the full version of this newsletter! Remember to enter your login and password when prompted.

If you are new to the Training Portal, simply click "register" after clicking on the red button above. Answer the questions, create a username and password, and we'll help you take it from there! Not a member? Click here to join HealthWatch Wisconsin!

In the Training Portal: Newsletter Table of Contents:

Some of the news and analysis features added to the Training Portal as of December 12 includes:

  • Now Announcing Anticipated Workshop Topics!
  • Marketplace Heads-up!
  • ACA Highlights from 2014
  • BadgerCare Plus Enrollment: November Data
  • Marketplace Enrollment Update
  • VCT: Applying for BadgerCare Plus in the Marketplace
  • HWW Member Profile: Rita Bohn, Polk County Public Health Dept.
  • Active vs. Passive Reenrollments in the Marketplace
  • Ask a Good Question... Children in the Marketplace
  • Nominate your Co-worker for a HealthWatch Award!
  • Coalition Roundup
  • MTM Audit
  • HealthWatch Trivia
  • Et Cetera: New Handbook links, Ops Memos & Updates
  • Headlines
  • And much more!

Members and paid subscribers, click here to login and view the Update online!

Not a member yet? No problem! Click here to register online and pay for your membership or subscription with a credit card. Or, you can print a registration form to mail or fax back to us (instructions provided on the form). If you would like to register over the phone or have questions about the registration process, please call 1-800-585-4222 ext. 219 and talk to Cassidy.

HealthWatch Wisconsin Member Profile
Rita Bohn, Polk County Health Department

Rita Bohn joined Polk County Health Department in 2001 but began her role as a Certified Application Counselor in 2013. Her role was to help assist enrollment in the first Marketplace Open Enrollment. In her short time with the health department, she quickly picked up the rules and regulations of health reform in Wisconsin, assisted numerous individuals and families. In 2014, Rita is back helping with Open Enrollment, and is even contracting with other entities during this second Open Enrollment Period to make sure people are aligned with the correct coverage options.

Member since: 2014

HWW: What is your favorite part about HealthWatch Wisconsin?
Rita: My favorite part is the videos, watching the Video Case Tips. I’ve learned a lot from watching those.

HWW: Could you highlight a current project you’re involved in at work and/or describe your position?
Rita: Right now I’m signing people up for insurance through the Marketplace. We are doing a lot of enrollment events. I’m also helping to cover St. Croix County too. They only have one other Certified Application Counselor over there.

HWW: As a certified application counselor, how does HealthWatch help you do your work?
Rita: The Case Tips help. This is all new to me. The case tips help gain knowledge when I have questions on topics that I’m not as familiar with.

HWW: What are you seeing with Open Enrollment so far?
Rita: It’s crazy. I thought this year was going to be mostly re-enrollments, but over 75% of the people I’ve helped so far are new. I’m also seeing a lot of people who lost their insurance last year and didn’t understand that they’d be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. A lot of people are still not understanding the rules. I’ve also noticed that people are coming in expecting insurance to be really expensive and it’s not as bad as they thought. On the other hand people are seeing the tobacco surcharges and I’m handing out a lot of cards for the Wisconsin quit line. One guy I was helping was even on the phone making an appointment when I came back from the printer with his application.

HWW: What is your favorite movie/book/TV show relating to health care?
Rita: House – I thought his sarcasm was hilarious.

HWW: If you could have dinner with a famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Rita: President Obama – I would talk about anything but politics, maybe sports.

HWW: What is a fun fact about yourself?
Rita: I love my alone time. Sometimes I like to be away from people and a computer.

HealthWatch Member Announcements:

Nominate your Co-worker for a HealthWatch Award!

The 8th Annual HealthWatch Wisconsin Conference is right around the corner! At this event, HealthWatch will again include an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding efforts for 2014. We need your help! Send us a nomination for a deserving person in one of our award categories:

  • Advocate of the Year
  • Elected Official of the Year
  • Outstanding Media Coverage
  • Outstanding Outreach Effort

Last year's award recipients were:

  • Advocate of the Year: Jon Peacock, of Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. Jon is admired for keeping up to date with current health issues and being an asset to the HealthWatch community.
  • Outreach Effort of the Year: Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin’s Better Together Project. GHC showed an exceptional commitment to user-friendly education and outreach around health reform in South-Central Wisconsin.
  • Outstanding Media of the Year: Nora Hertel, for her story “States Differ Widely in Cost,” researched and reported on when Nora was with the WI Center for Investigative Journalism.

Make your nomination today! Send an Email or Fax (608-261-6938) to HealthWatch with the following information:

  • Your Name & Contact info
  • The Award Nominee's Name and Contact Info
  • Which Award You are Nominating this person for
  • A few words why this individual/organization is worthy of the honor

Act fast: Please submit all nominations by Friday, January 16, 2015.

Annual Call for Nominations to the HealthWatch Leadership Council!

Develop your leadership skills with HealthWatch Wisconsin! Each year, the membership of HealthWatch Wisconsin elects a new Council members to serve a three-year term on the HealthWatch Council. These leaders help plan events and work to direct and amplify the powerful voice of the membership!

HealthWatch solicits nominations each fall from the membership-looking for people of diverse backgrounds and public-health-oriented professions. The last opportunity to submit nominations is at the Annual Conference in early 2015.

If you know someone you would like to nominate--or if you wish to nominate yourself, send us an email! Include your name, workplace, contact information, and the name of the individual you are nominating. Thank you!

Video Case Tip: Applying for BadgerCare Plus in the Marketplace

You can apply for BadgerCare Plus through the Marketplace. If you fill out a Marketplace Application and they determine you are eligible for BadgerCare Plus, they will let you know and send your application to your local County Consortium. You can also apply for BadgerCare Plus the usual way by applying through Access.gov.wi.

Click here or on the picture to the right to view the Video
Case Tips. This video has now been closed captioned! Just click the CC button on the menu bar below the video to see
the closed captioning (See picture to the right).

What problems are you seeing in your area?

Send your questions or comments in an email, and we'll create a follow-up web cast filled with the answers!

All our videos are archived in our Video Case Tip Library so you can visit them at any time.

State Audit of Medicaid Transportation Issues: Share Your MTM Story

The Wisconsin Medicaid Transportation Program and vendor will face a state audit. Auditors are encouraging members of the public to contact them or the Legislative Audit Bureau directly with complaints and other information that they think should be included within the audit.

The Legislative Audit Bureau wants individuals with complaints or experiences with MTM to contact the LAB hotline (1-877-372-8317) to get an accurate picture of the quality of services MTM is providing. The Audit Bureau is online: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/

Coalition Roundup

Help us complete our new listing of 2014 upcoming HealthWatch local coalition meetings! Email us! As always, contact the coalition directly for more information.

Coalition Next Meeting Contact
Chippewa County Jan. 13 Rose Marsh
Dane County Jan. 5 Anna Kaminski
Eau Claire Jan. 8 Lou Kelsey
Milwaukee Feb. 11 Danielle Coterel
Pierce County TBD Kelsi Winter
Polk County TBD Mike Rust
Tri-County Dec. 23 Connie Raether


Ask a Good Question...

I am looking at Marketplace coverage for me and my family. Are there other options I should be aware of for my children?

...Get a Good Answer: Login to the Training Portal to see the answer to this question!


FoodShare Handbook, published October 17, 2014 in Release 14-03.

Marketplace Handbook: On October 3, CMS's Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight released the first edition of a "Federally Facilitated Marketplace Enrollment Operational Policy & Guidance" Handbook, effective October 1. All enrollments made on or after October 1, 2013 MUST be processed in accordance with these requirements. This is a "living document!" Advocates, providers, and consumers are encouraged to submit comments or recommended changes. Email EnrollmentGuidance@cms.hhs.gov, and write "Comments on Enrollment Manual" in the subject line of the email.

BadgerCare Plus Handbook, published November 20, 2014 in Release 14-04

Ops Memos

Ops Memo 14-49, Processing Telephonic Applications from Offenders

Ops Memo 14-50, Using Data Exchanges to Verify Earned Income for Health Care

Ops Memo 14-51, Three-Month Late Renewal Policy for Health Care

Ops Memo 14-52, Streamlining Enrollment and Eligibility for Managed Long Term Care Programs

Ops Memo 14-53, 2015 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Ops Memo 14-35, Private Pay Nursing Home Rate

Ops Memo 14-06, Fraud Prevention and Investigation Program Allocations and Guidelines for CY 2015

Public Notices Health Services Annual Adjustment to Fees That May be Charged by a Health Care Provider for Providing Copies of a Patient's Health Care Records. See PDF for Diagram.


Innovation Conundrum In Health Care, HealthAffairs Blog, Dec. 12

42.9 million Americans have unpaid medical bills, Chron, Dec. 11

Federal Report Highlights the Effects of Medical Debts on Credit, The New York Times, Dec. 11

With 1.5 Million Sign-Ups So Far, Obamacare Enrollment is Brisk, Kaiser Health News, Dec. 11

New Spanish-Language Cartoon and Calculator to Help Consumers Understand Health Insurance, Kaiser Family Foundation, Dec. 11

Open Enrollment Week 3: November 29 - December 5, 2014, HHS.gov, Dec. 10

Gov. Scott Walker considering merging state agencies in next budget, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 10

UPDATE: UW students stage "die-in" on campus, WKOW, Dec. 10

Half of Doctors Listed as Serving Medicaid Patients Are Unavailable, Investigation Finds, New York Times, Dec. 8

Tell Us What You Think!

HealthWatch Wisconsin Update readers, we want to hear from you! What do you think of the format? How do you find the material on the HealthWatch Wisconsin Training Site? Do you have any topics you'd like to see or questions you want answered. Please email HealthWatch and let us know!

Help HealthWatch Wisconsin & ABC for Health with a Tax-Deductible Contribution!

Support ABC for Health as we pursue our mission of helping people in Wisconsin secure access to health care and coverage. Our staff works tirelessly with the thousands of families and individuals who contact our office each year. To continue, we do need your help and support. A tax-deductible financial contribution will support direct legal, advocacy, and education services to families in Wisconsin.

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