Only nine months after it started, the Department of Health Services says expenditures for the BadgerCare Basic program have outgrown premium revenues by nearly $2 million. To help control those costs, the Department says it is putting a freeze on new enrollments, effective today.
DHS Secretary Dennis Smith says the move is unfortunate, but the design of the program is unsustainable and the freeze will keep costs from being shifted to taxpayers. Smith says the program is a prime example of “good intentions that created unrealistic expectations.”
BadgerCare Basic was designed to be a self-funded health care program for adults without dependent children who are unable to enroll in the BadgerCare Core plan. Through February of this year, Smith says it has taken in $4.18 million in premium revenue and paid out $5.83 million in claims.
However, Smith warns the program’s deficit could end up being much larger because of a three month delay in claims being filed. He says DHS believes the deficit could actually be closer to $5.7 million when all claims are in.
Smith says DHS will work to maintain coverage for those already enrolled and help new applicants find alternatives. The Department is also indicating that premium increases could on the way in the coming months.