Wisconsin | Fall | 2008 | Health Plan Analysis

Wisconsin has received approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand its BadgerCare Plus healthcare initiative, giving the state the ability to use federal funds to provide basic healthcare services to uninsured childless adults. However, the state is facing a severe financial crisis that could serve to stall efforts to roll out the program on a statewide basis. Wisconsin is facing a budget deficit that could total $5.4 million through mid-2011, and while lawmakers work to plug the holes, the states' healthcare team is forging on with plans for the healthcare expansion and its timetable. The plan calls for extensive use of the state's 16 Medicaid HMOs. Meanwhile, state officials and advocates are hoping the election of Barack Obama will pay off for the state's SeniorCare prescription drug program, which operates on a federal Pharmacy Plus waiver. That waiver was set to expire under the Bush administration before some last-minute wrangling, but Obama said during the presidential campaign he was in favor of allowing Wisconsin to keep the program. Also, local provider-owned insurer Dean Health Plan is continuing to expand the nationwide presence of Wisconsin-based pharmacy benefit manager Navitus Health Solutions.