At times Express Enrollment can seem a little like an urban legend or the Yeti that people swear they’ve seen yet have little evidence to pinpoint it’s whereabouts.
But CKF knows it exists, and even more, know its value. Since early 2008 when Express Enrollment for BadgerCare+ began, we’ve continued to work to boost the number of locally accessible sites – primarily schools – where Express Enrollment can occur.
If you are unfamiliar with Express Enrollment, it is a quick but very temporary enrollment process for certain categories of low-income children. The full BadgerCare+ application requires some time to fill out and may take a month to be fully processed. And so Express Enrollment is meant in part to fill in that time gap. Particularly for low-income children in need of prompt medical attention, Express Enrollment means the opportunity to get rapid coverage to pay for that care, thereby encouraging the needed doctor’s visit or prescription drug.
Unlike a full BadgerCare+ application, the Express Enrollment process is not completed by the applicant family. Instead, it must be completed by persons or organizations that have gone through the process to register with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. (I should note here that Express Enrollment is also an option for pregnant women but only certified medical providers may assist.)
In terms of eligibility, the upper income limit ranges from 150% to 300% of the poverty level depending on the child’s age. The child must also be a US citizen. And most importantly, a full application should always follow on the heels of Express Enrollment since the temporary coverage only lasts at most for 2 months and can not be done more than once in a year.
Schools often like to take advantage of the opportunity to become certified to offer Express Enrollment. Assisting with a full BadgerCare+ application may not be something a school staff person has the capacity to offer. However, the speed and immediacy of Express Enrollment can make it a more reasonable way to assist. A full application can then be completed by the applicant or with help from a community organization.
CKF has recently updated our Express Enrollment training slides, “Express Enrollment for Children.” The slides give an overview of the basics of Express Enrollment as well as detail the process for becoming a certified provider. The presentation can also be found on our BadgerCare+ training page.