This evaluation determined whether BadgerCare increased access to health insurance for low-income families and support families making the welfare-to-work transition. It also evaluated whether Wisconsin’s experience with BadgerCare could help other States with similar reforms. Major findings include: (1) BadgerCare achieved its main objective of bridging the gap between Medicaid and private insurance for the working poor. (2) BadgerCare exceeded enrollment projections soon after implementation and continued to gain new enrollees each month. (3) The program was credited with keeping the rate of uninsurance in the State among the lowest in the nation throughout the recent economic downturn. Other significant findings of the evaluation include: (1) The BadgerCare program is viewed as distinct from Medicaid and thereby succeeded in reducing the welfare stigma typically associated with public programs. (2) Most enrollees who paid premiums believed the premiums were reasonable in amount. (3) BadgerCare enrollees enjoyed equivalent or better access to care as individuals enrolled in employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) plans and much better access than uninsured, low-income families. (4) No significant differences were seen in reported health status between BadgerCare adult or child enrollees and adults and children who were either uninsured or covered by ESI or other insurance.
PIC ID: 8091; Agency Sponsor: CMS-ORDI, Office of Research, Development, and Information; Federal Contact: Boben, Paul J., 410-786-6629; Performer: Research Triangle Institute, Waltham, MA