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Vol. 9, No. 19 October 16, 2013

Marketplace Enrollment, Rates, and Realities!

In the full edition of this week's newsletter, people are lined up for Marketplace enrollment but is still bogged down. Are paper applications better? We have the answer! Also, HealthWatch Wisconsin continues early bird registration for our Annual Conference, and the Polk County HealthWatch Coalition invites folks to an October 24th workshop on Marketplaces & Medicaid changes. All are welcome! 

We also share new ways to "window shop" on without interfering with the connection for those enrolling, share the new "Marketplace Handbook," and discuss the new policy memo from the Department of Health Services on BadgerCare Plus changes for 2014. Read about these breaking news items, case tips, HealthWatch coalition activities, recent articles, and more in this week’s Update newsletter. 

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!

Newsletter Table of Contents:

Some of the news and analysis features added to the Training Portal as of October 15 includes:

  • Take advantage of Early Bird Discounts for our 7th Annual Conference!
  • Join the Polk County HealthWatch Coalition for a Marketplace training, Oct. 24
  • A New Way to Window Shop on and View Rate Information!
  • A Valentine's Day Deadline!
  • Batching Medicaid Applications to the State? Not Yet!
  • Will the Shutdown Slow Maintenance to
  • A Paper Application?
  • Coverage Gaps for the Uninsured: Everything's Bigger in Texas
  • DHS Issues Ops Memo, Announces Information Sessions, Starts Phone Calls
  • ESPDT and the ACA!
  • Mental Health Task Force Issues a Report
  • Case Tips on: Energy Assistance; A Marketplace Handbook; Backdating BadgerCare Plus and FoodShare Changes!
  • SSI HMO Expansion in Dane County
  • The BadgerCare Plus Enrollment Slide Begins
  • More important headlines and events of interest from around the state
  • 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. 210.


HealthWatch Wisconsin's 7th Annual Conference: "Marketplace Pathways to Health Care"

Join us in Madison February 20 & 21, 2014 as HealthWatch Wisconsin gathers state and federal policy makers, health care providers, public health, and advocates to learn about Marketplace enrollment and coverage, the latest on other health reform policies, and strategies to help guide people to the health care and coverage they need and deserve. Registration is OPEN, with substantial EARLY BIRD DISCOUNTS! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

The HealthWatch Conference is February 20 & 21, 2014 at the Best Western Plus Inn on the Park in Madison. Save your seat today!

HealthWatch Member News

Polk County HealthWatch Coalition Workshop is October 24

If you are located in Northwestern Wisconsin, join ABC for Rural Health & HealthWatch Wisconsin for our Insurance Changes & Exchanges Workshop Thursday, October 24! The workshop will include providers, health plans, health care advocates and other stakeholders to identify and share key strategies to connect Rural Wisconsin populations to appropriate health coverage in the Marketplace, BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid.

  • What: Insurance Changes & Exchanges Workshop
  • Date: Thursday, October 24, 2013
  • Place: Polk County Health Department, County Board Room, 100 Polk County Plaza, Balsam Lake, WI 54810
  • Time: Come for part or all of the afternoon:
    • 12:30-1:00pm: New to Health Reform & BadgerCare Plus Changes? Join us for an introduction to the new coverage landscape in Wisconsin.
    • 1:00-3:00pm: More experienced? All are welcome to join a discussion:
      • Eligibility, enrollment, and troubleshooting Marketplace coverage
      • How available Marketplace plans will work in Polk County
      • Changes to BadgerCare Plus programs
      • Advocacy strategies and where to go for help
      • Looking ahead to 2014!

RSVPs are encouraged but not required: If you would like to reserve a space please send an email to:

Pierce County HealthWatch Coalition Holds Successful Workshop!

Thank you to all who joined us in River Falls for the Pierce County HealthWatch Coalition meeting and training on October 10! What an informative and helpful meeting, featuring speakers from ABC for Health and HealthWatch Wisconsin at a critical time--right after the new Insurance Marketplaces opened enrollment! Navigators, CACs, providers, advocates, IM Consortia, agents and more gathered to discuss insurance changes with exchanges!

Eau Claire County HealthWatch Coalition Meeting is November 7!

NOTE: A Room Change! Join the Eau Claire HealthWatch Coalition for an informative meeting on November 7, from 12-1:30pm. This meeting will be in room North LL Courtyard Room 1 at Luther-Mayo Hospital in the Lower Level. This is a different room than normal! The Coalition is happy to welcome Jessica Manthe to this meeting, the Admissions and Marketing Director for the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Chippewa Falls. The Wisconsin Veterans Home is a 72 bed skilled nursing facility, designed with a new "neighborhood" concept. The facility opened its doors just eight months ago.

Chippewa County HealthWatch Coalition Meeting is November 12!

Join the Chippewa HealthWatch Coalition for its next meeting on November 12, as they welcome the Center for Independent Living of Western Wisconsin as guest speakers! 

Share Your BadgerCare, Medicaid, or Marketplace Story!

Are you one of the more than 90,000 parents who will lose BadgerCare Plus coverage in 2014?
Are you under 100% FPL and moving to BadgerCare?
Are you a mother or father just making ends meet who's concerned about the new changes to BadgerCare coverage?
Are you not sure WHERE TO GO for help?

Tell us your health care and coverage story! As 2013 comes to a close, the health care landscape in Wisconsin is changing. If you or a loved one will be changing insurance, losing BadgerCare Plus or going to the Marketplace to purchase insurance for the first time, we’d like to hear your story! There are many ways to contact us:

Coalition Roundup

A lot of HealthWatch local coalition meetings coming up! Be sure to click the link below to view the full calendar or contact the coalition directly for more information.

Coalition Next Meeting Contact
Chippewa County Nov. 12 Rose Marsh
Dane County Nov. 4 Anna Kaminski
Eau Claire Nov. 7 Lou Kelsey
Milwaukee Dec. 11 Danielle Zirkel
Pierce County TBD Janet Cleary
Polk County Oct. 24 Mike Rust
Tri-County Oct. 22 Connie Raether

CLICK HERE to see details for upcoming coalition meetings on the HealthWatch Wisconsin calendar!

Ask a Good Question...

I have a son who just turned 27. I urged him to enroll in the Marketplace since he doesn't get coverage through his work. But I see all his friends who might not even know about the health reform changes and opportunities! Are there any resources to help remind young adults to get insured?!


...Get a Good Answer:

Click Here for the Answer! 


Membership runs July 1-June 30 of each year. You can join at any time! A HealthWatch membership provides valuable benefits such as a voice in statewide advocacy that works toward quality and accessible health care for people across Wisconsin, electronic publications, on-demand training videos and other resources through the HealthWatch Training Portal, and substantial discounts on registration for trainings, workshops, and conferences. Register online at our registration page; Fill out our PDF registration form and return it via fax or email; or Call us at 1-800-261-6939 x 210 and register over the phone

Tell Us What You Think!

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Copyright © 2013 ABC for Health, Inc. All rights reserved. No reprint without permission.

HealthWatch Wisconsin is a project of ABC for Health, Inc.
Update Staff:
Bobby Peterson, Executive Director
Brynne McBride, Assistant Director