BadgerCare Plus & ACCESS.Wisconsin.gov Programs cited for innovative, customer-focused approaches
MADISON – Wisconsin ’s BadgerCare Plus program received a national “Innovation” award recently from the Council on State Government (CSG) and its ACCESS selfservice web portal received an honorable mention in the Stockholm Challenge, an international award program for projects using information and communication technology to improve people’s lives.
Wisconsin was one of eight states to receive recognition from CSG for an innovative program, BadgerCare Plus, that can be transferred successfully to another state. In his FY 07-09 biennial budget, Governor Doyle combined three separate Medicaid programs into the program, making Medicaid programs easier to understand, enroll in and administer. In its first day in February 2008, BadgerCare Plus enrolled more than 40,000 individuals who were already eligible for Medicaid, but couldn’t make their way through the red tape to get enrolled. The program covered more than 270,000 additional Wisconsin citizens and ensured that 98 percent of the state’s population had
“BadgerCare Plus is one of the biggest changes to Wisconsin government in recent decades,” said Karen Timberlake, Secretary of the Department of Health Services (DHS). “It was a well conceived, incremental approach to expanding health care coverage and the changes made a direct and long lasting impact on the economic security of our state. Furthermore, the changes made in early 2008 prepared our state for the national economic downturn that occurred later that year.”
ACCESS.wisconsin.gov is a streamlined online application tool developed in coordination with BadgerCare Plus. More than 60% of BadgerCare Plus applications are done through ACCESS which has also been instrumental in increasing enrollment in FoodShare. ACCESS was the only American winner in the international Stockholm Challenge which reviewed more than 290 projects from 90 countries.
“In these challenging economic times, we continue to look for innovative ideas to contain costs and lesson the burden on the state budget,” said Timberlake. “Wisconsin is proud to be a national leader in access to health care while continuing to provide more efficient, high quality services to its citizens.”
The CSG Innovations Awards were started in 1986 to bring greater visibility to exemplary state programs and to facilitate the transfer of those successful experiences to other states. The Stockholm Challenge began in 1999. This is the first time Wisconsin has won either award.