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Wisconsin health care programs for the uninsured.

Individuals who are uninsured, or maybe their provider doesn’t cover a certain condition, can look into several programs sponsored by Wisconsin, the federal government, and non-profits. Free or low cost medical and dental care as well as medications may be distributed to the needy.

While various qualifications will need to be met by applicants, the bottom line is that government assistance can help people pay their medical bills and help them receive the care they need. This is usually accomplished by patients receiving discounts and/or free health care. Many of the programs are tailored for children, the disabled, and low income senior citizens as well.

Look into BadgerCare, Medicaid, and prescription drug discount programs. Some specialty services are offered for cancer patients. Or residents can receive vaccinations as well. Programs in Wisconsin can provide both ongoing assistance, as well as medical care in a crisis. Information on your options is below.

As with all states, Wisconsin participates in the AIDS/HIV Drug Assistance Program, or ADAP. The government administered program provides qualified patients with FDA approved HIV/AIDS related medications. Call 800-991-5532 for details.

Another similar resource is the AIDS/HIV Health Insurance Premium Subsidy. This will deal with a different set of needs, and in particular it will help HIV positive patients pay for existing or new health insurance coverage. It will in effect subsidize all or part of the cost of their monthly premiums. A doctor needs to certify that the applicant of course has an HIV infection. They also need to provide that the applicant has had to quit work, cut back on work hours, or take an unpaid medical leave. 800-991-5532.

BadgerCare Plus has two main components. One is for children under age 19, pregnant women, and their families who are currently uninsured. Call 800-362-3002. The so called Core Plan is for adults who are long-term uninsured and who do not have any dependent children living with them. The state will help pay for doctor visits, hospital services, emergency room costs and ambulance, physical therapy, occupational and speech therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, durable medical equipment and supplies, chiropractic services and more. Dial 800-291-2002




A Chronic Disease Program is available for Adult Cystic Fibrosis (ACF). It will pay for disease-related services including prescription drugs and related supplies. This is only offered by non-profits after all other sources of payment, including government aid and private sources, have been exhausted. 800-362-3002

There is also a Hemophilia Home Care Program. It coordinates services for blood derivatives and related supplies that may be necessary for home infusion. A small $10 participant co-pay will be applied to each prescription medication and blood product covered. Call 800-362-3002.

Chronic Renal Disease is financial assistance for patients with some form of renal or kidney disease. It can pay for the treatment and care for qualified applicants. This is only offered after all government funding has been used up, and there may be some out-of-pocket expenses due from participants. 800-362-3002

Wisconsin Medicaid is known as ForwardHealth. This is state and federal government coordinated health care for the very low income, blind, disabled or those age 65 or over. The objective is to provide free or low cost medical care for eligible low-income individuals. Assistance is for children, pregnant women, the disabled, and struggling families with children. Applicants also need to be a US citizen or qualified alien citizen or legal immigrant. ForwardHealth will offer comprehensive medical care, including, dental, physician visits, hospitalization, emergency ambulance, lab & x-ray services etc. Some care may be offered for free. 800-362-3002.

The Katie Beckett Program will arrange help for children with long-term disabilities who are currently living at home. It will assist them with receiving Medicaid benefits. A focus is on children with complex medical needs. If found to be successful, the child receives a government Medicaid card which will ensure they get the coverage they need. 608-266-3236.

The Medicaid Deductible Program is lower cost health care for people with high medical or hospital bills. It is targeted at people who meet all Medicaid requirements with one exception, and that would be because their income is too high to qualify. Many of the beneficiaries are elderly or disabled adults, children under age 19, or pregnant women. Once someone satisfies their deductible, the exact same Medicaid covered services are available to them as from the federal government resource. This can include  assistance with paying health insurance premiums, medical bills for yourself and family, and other related aid.

Medicaid Purchase Plan is public health insurance coverage for people with disabilities who are looking for a job or who are currently employed. A sliding fee scale is in place, and depending on the applicants income, a premium payment may be required from the patient. 800-362-3002.





WISEWOMAN will help prevent, delay or control chronic diseases, such as heart/cardiovascular conditions. It is offered to the low income and those whose current insurance won’t pay for it. Wisconsin will provide for free or low cost stroke risk and heart disease factor screening. Examples include blood pressure checks, cholesterol, glucose sampling, a review of family medical history and other ongoing support. Call 414-219-7850 for details.

Wisconsin QDWI (Medicare Savings Programs) will help pay Medicare Part A premiums for qualifying lower income and uninsured individuals. Applicants need to be disabled and employed as well as entitled to Medicare Part A. The similar program of QMB addresses premiums, deductibles and co-insurance for eligible persons, and is for both Medicare Part A and B. The last component is Medicare Savings from SLMB, and this will cover just part B premiums. While these three resources are all very similar, call 800-362-3002 for more specifics and details.

Individuals with a preexisting condition may benefit from the PCIP. This will provide consumers with a few different plans and options to choose from. It is public health insurance for people who have been denied coverage due to a preexisting medical conditions and who have been uninsured for at least the last 6 months. Depending on your plan, it can offer a wide range of health benefits, including hospital care and prescription drugs. There will be some premiums, deductibles and out of pocket limits due. 800-828-4777.

VFC is the state of Wisconsin Vaccines for Children Program. All medications are given to both state and local health agencies at no charge. These centers, most of which are non-profit, will distribute items to physicians/health clinics. It can even cover such common ailments as the flu. 608-267-9959.

Some forms of cancer treatment may be addressed by Well Woman Medicaid. Specifically, it can provide testing and/or treatment for breast or cervical cancer, and it is for people under the age of 65. It will also help residents obtain full Medicaid benefits and it will pay for physician visits, lab & x-ray services, hospitalization, dental, and emergency ambulance. Telephone number is 800-362-3002.




Another similar resource is the Well Woman Program. This is another option for multiple sclerosis testing, breast and cervical cancer testing and more for the uninsured or those with limited coverage. Call 866-908-1363.

SeniorCare Prescription Drug Program is for senior citizens and the elderly in Wisconsin. It will pay for most prescription drugs, life threatening medications and over-the-counter insulin. Some out of pocket expenses may be due. 800-657-2038.


By Jon McNamara

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