HWW Update

HWW Update
Home About HealthWatch Annual Conference Training Publications
Vol. 11, No. 6 April 1, 2015
Registration Now Open: The Building Blocks of Health Coverage—IN MILWAUKEE!


Join us in Milwaukee this May for an afternoon of Medicaid and Marketplace Workshops! In this “intermediate-level” training, we’ll dig into Marketplace and Medicaid issues and problems that persist even after the close of Open Enrollment. We’ll examine health policy issues that continue to plague low-income Wisconsinites, including Birth Cost Recovery and underutilization of EPSDT.

Date: Thursday, May 7
Time: 12:30-4:30pm
Where: Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee

To Register:
Complete and return the attached Registration Form
Register over the phone! (608) 261-6939 ext. 210

Questions or information: call Cassidy at (608) 261-6939 ext. 219. 

In this issue...

We give special THANKS to everyone who made our annual conference a success! We also open registration for our May Milwaukee training, update you on some recent Supreme Court decisions, take a look at what Montana is attempting for Medicaid Expansion, 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 April 1 includes:

  • Registration Now Open: The Building Blocks of Health Coverage - IN Milwaukee
  • Thank you for Making This Year's Conference a Success!
  • Marketplace SEP: March 15 - April 30
  • Congratulations to our 2014 HealthWatch Award Winners!
  • Outlook for Rural Hospitals in a Post-ACA World
  • VCT: Getting Ready for Tax Time
  • Medicaid Expansion Roundup: Montana
  • State of Wisconsin Audit
  • Recent Supreme Court Rulings
  • The ACA's First Tax Season
  • Ask a Good Question...Crowd Out Rules
  • Coalition Roundup
  • MTM Audit
  • 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.
8th Annual HealthWatch Wisconsin Conference: "R U Covered?"
Thank you for making this year's conference a success!


ABC for Health and HealthWatch Wisconsin are grateful for state policy makers, health care providers, health policy experts, and advocates who gathered to discuss public and private coverage options and strategies to help accurately guide people to health care and coverage they need and deserve. The “R U Covered” conference was a huge success! Not able to join us in Madison? Join us in Milwaukee in May!!

Here’s what people had to say about the conference:

“Congratulations on another fantastic conference!  It was great-- lots of good information and the legislative sessions and BadgerCare looking forward was really incredible.”

“Great job organizing and presenting the conference... The ‘Kevins Panel’ was terrific.”

“Great topics – hard to choose which workshop to attend!”

“Overall this was wonderful. My favorite part was hearing the Representatives talk--that was unique and beneficial.”

“The Legislative and BadgerCare discussions were AMAZING!”
Marketplace Special Enrollment Period: March 15 through April 30

Don't forget about the recently announced Marketplace Special Enrollment Period (SEP)!  Any individual who did not enroll in coverage for 2014 or 2015, and then filed taxes and realized they had to pay a penalty, is eligible to enroll in Marketplace coverage to avoid paying the penalty again on their 2015 taxes. This SEP will only be available this year.

For more information visit HealthCare.gov or watch our Video Case Tip: SEP for Tax Penalties.

Video Case Tips: Getting Ready for Tax Time

In this Video Case Tip, Brynne McBride takes you through what you will need to know to get ready for tax season this year. As we all know, taxes must be filed by April 15, so this a good time for a refresher if you haven't had time to file your 2014 taxes yet.

Click here or on the picture to the right to watch the Video Case Tip.

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.

Ask a Good Question...

My children are covered under my employer sponsored health insurance plan. Are they still eligible for BadgerCare Plus as secondary coverage?

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

Congratulations to our 2014 HealthWatch Award Winners!

These awards recognize those who do outstanding work in advocacy, outreach, media, and as an elected official. Over the course of the next few Updates, we will be featuring specific award winners. This edition, we are featuring Outreach Effort of the Year award recipient Rita Bohn!

Advocate of the Year: Patricia Sarvela, of Partnership Community Health Center
Outstanding Media of the Year: Adam Rodewald, of the Green Bay Press Gazette
Elected Official of the Year: Jim Alber, Supervisor of Lincoln County, and Joanne Suomi*(In Memoriam), Supervisor of Portage County
Outreach Effort of the Year: Rita Bohn, of Polk County Health Department

Rita joined the Polk County Health Department in 2001, but began her role as a Certified Application Counselor in 2013 when she was needed for the first Open Enrollment Period for health reform’s marketplace. In 2014, Rita was back, helping with Open Enrollment again, at first thinking it might be a little easier the second time around. In fact, instead of doing just renewals, Rita found that over 75% of the people she helped in the first two months of enrollment were brand new to the marketplace. She saw people who lost insurance, who didn’t understand Marketplace rules, surcharges, cost sharing, and a lot of the topics we’re talking about today.

Rita provided assistance to help many people connect to insurance coverage in Northwestern Wisconsin. She even helped St. Croix County serve folks as a contracted certified application counselor for some community events and at the Government Center. That is how Rita got the nickname of “Rent-a-CAC.” 

Rita was nominated for this award because of her ability to work with so many families, for helping them navigate insurance options, for forging excellent relations with insurance agents and Navigator in her area, and for keeping her eyes open to the impact the coverage was having on the families she was helping.

Initially Rita only helped with ACA enrollment, but she also quickly quickly learned to work with ACCESS.GOV for some BadgerCare applications, where she successfully advocated to correct incorrect application of MAGI rules. Her expertise and ability to step up to the plate during key times makes her more than deserving of the HealthWatch Award for Outstanding Outreach Effort of the Year.

Remember the Marketplace!

Open Enrollment Period: November 15, 2014 - February 15, 2015

Open Enrollment Ends February 15!

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 2015 upcoming HealthWatch local coalition meetings! Email us! As always, contact the coalition directly for more information.

Coalition Next Meeting Contact
Chippewa County April 14 Rose Marsh
Dane County April 6* Anna Kaminski
Eau Claire April 2 Lou Kelsey
Milwaukee April 8 Danielle Coterel
Pierce County TBD Kelsi Winter
Polk County TBD Mike Rust
Tri-County April 28 Connie Raether

*Dane County: Don't forget to bring your items for The Road Home Item Drive on April 6!


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

Medicaid Eligibility Handbook (MEH), published December 18, 2014 in Release 14-02

Administrator's Memo 14-04, 2015 IM Consortia Administrative Allocation, has been published to the DHS web

Release 15-01 of the ACCESS Handbook was published on January 16th

Release 15-01 of the Electronic Case File (ECF) Handbook was published on January 16th

Release 15-01 of the FoodShare Handbook was published

Administrative Memo

Notice 15-02 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Additional Funding

Ops Memos

Ops Memo 15-04, Addressing Delayed Health Care Account Transfers from the Marketplace

Ops Memo 15-05, Federal Poverty Level Changes for ForwardHealth Programs

Ops Memo 15-06, Time Limit for Completing an ACCESS Child Care Intake Interview

Ops Memo 15-08, 2015 Federal Poverty Level Changes for the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program

Ops Memo 15-09, 2015 Wisconsin Shares Co-Payment Adjustments

Featured Provider Memo

2015-14 Outpatient and Inpatient Hospital Observation Policy

Log in to the full Update Newsletter to find more Provider Memos!


Social Security, Retirement are Saved and Expanded! (April Fool's Day Edition), Forbes, April 1

The People Have Spoken: It's TIme to Remove Drastic Changes to Family Care, IRIS and ADRCs from the State Budget, Wheeler Report, March 30

Many People Entitled to Hefty Subsidies Still Opt Against Coverage, Kaiser Health News, March 27

Health conference addresses self-insurance, subsidies, BadgerCare, Wisconsin State Journal, March 26

Advocates Deliver 35,000 Petitions Calling on Finance Committee to Take BadgerCare Dollars and Protect UW, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, March 26

Obamacare Five Years Later: Thriving Or On Political Life Support?, NPR, March 25

Implementing Health Reform: Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment; Tax Forms; And Special Enrollment Period, HealthAffairs Blog, March 22

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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