After March 31, 2023, BadgerCare Plus recipients must return to the pre-pandemic process of reapplying and being re-evaluated for coverage. Here, a sign points visitors toward the entrance of the Department of Health Services’ Milwaukee Enrollment Services office in Milwaukee, where residents can get in-person support for state benefit programs like FoodShare and BadgerCare Plus. (Sam Woods/ Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service)  
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After March 31, BadgerCare Plus recipients must return to the pre-pandemic process of reapplying and being re-evaluated for coverage.

Local health care professionals want them to be prepared. BadgerCare Plus serves people who need health care coverage but who may not qualify for Medicaid.

Because of federal legislation that went into effect in March 2020, those who have received BadgerCare Plus benefits have been able to keep those benefits without having to go through the renewal process as was required every 12 months before that time, said Caroline Gómez-Tom, enrollment network and accessibility manager for Covering Wisconsin.

But Gómez-Tom said, “People should not panic.”

Covering Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization based out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps people throughout Wisconsin understand and apply for health insurance.

Here are some crucial details to keep in mind:

How to prepare

First, people should understand that everyone’s date to reapply will be different. 

Renewal dates will fall anywhere from June 2023 to May 2024, said Elizabeth Goodsitt, communications specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, which manages BadgerCare Plus. 

People should receive a letter in March informing them of their renewal date. They will then receive a renewal packet 45 days before that renewal date, Goodsitt said.

Update your digital accounts

Gómez-Tom said people should update any digital accounts related to Medicaid.

You can create an account on, which is Wisconsin’s Medicaid website. You can also download the MyACCESS mobile app, “which is probably even easier than the website,” said Gómez-Tom.

These platforms can be used for communicating with the Department of Health Services, or DHS, about renewal dates and other important correspondence.

‘Read everything carefully’

Winona Grieger, a navigator at Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center, emphasized the importance of “paying attention” to any correspondence from DHS and “reading everything carefully” to understand what is expected.

Don’t renew prematurely

As far as collecting relevant paperwork to prepare for the renewal, Gómez-Tom counseled that recipients not “jump the gun.” DHS will be, for the most part, assessing people’s employment situation and want the most current pay stubs possible.

Additionally, there is a potential risk in trying to renew prematurely.

“We don’t want people to renew before their time to renew, because that might risk them losing coverage sooner than they would otherwise,” Gómez-Tom said.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

In addition to household income, household size is the other major factor in whether someone qualifies for Medicaid. UW-Madison outlines these thresholds on a chart

Gómez-Tom advises caution in reviewing this information, though, because someone can look at this chart and determine they do not qualify.

“There are other factors that can affect it (eligibility),” she said, including yearly expenses and tax information specific to the applicant. “A navigator can take everything into account and determine that a person actually is eligible.”

“Throughout this whole process and transition, if people have any questions along the way – need help with finding their renewal date, what they will need for their renewals, doing the renewal itself, finding out other options if they find out they are not eligible – navigators are here to help,” said Gómez -Tom. “No question is too small.”

How to get help

People can connect with a Covering Wisconsin navigator by calling 608-261-1455 or 414-400-9489 — or by visiting or  

Or they can call 2-1-1, a service that helps connect people to resources.

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Devin Blake started as a journalist at Patch, writing about the Southern California neighborhoods he grew up in. He focused on local business communities throughout the area and was drawn to stories about unemployment, worker resources, and businesses that were filling unmet needs in their communities.

Watching the homelessness crisis continue to deepen over those years, he began working as a resource and information coordinator for community groups and nonprofits so they could better serve populations without stable housing—populations that included the elderly, developmentally delayed and those with HIV/AIDs, among others.

Blake has contributed to a number of publications, including New York magazine, The Onion, and McSweeney’s. He loves spending time with his wife and negotiating with his 2-year-old son.