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Challenges to Getting Health Care Remain with Over 20,000 Still Uninsured

Access to Health Care in Dane County, a newly-released report from Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC), highlights both the progress that has been made and the remaining challenges in making sure that all Dane County residents can receive needed health care. The report identifies a wide range of barriers and populations that face special challenges.
In the years leading up to the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), nearly one in ten Dane County residents could not see a doctor in the past year because they could not afford the cost.  In 2013, an estimated 39,000 (8.9%) Dane County residents under age 65 did not have health insurance coverage.
Since 2013, with the availability of discounted private insurance through the federal Marketplace and the extension of BadgerCare Plus (Medicaid) to eligible “childless adults”, thousands of Dane County residents have been able to obtain coverage.

  • BadgerCare Plus saw a net enrollment gain of almost 10,000 Dane County residents from late 2013 through June of this year.


  • In 2014, 9,737 residents signed up for Marketplace insurance.  In 2015, that number rose to 14,504 and an estimated 88% put their plans into effect.  

According to PHMDC estimates, 14,000-16,000 of the Dane County residents who gained coverage since late 2013 were previously uninsured, reducing the number of residents without coverage by 36 to 40%. The remaining challenge is with the 23,000 to 25,000 county residents who are still without coverage. 
Greater coverage gains have been achieved in those states that have expanded Medicaid to cover adults with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level.  Wisconsin has thus far opted out of this expansion.
Recommendations in the report will contribute to local efforts to improve access to health care in Dane County.
“Access to care is a complex issue, with many different barriers that can make it difficult for people to get the health care they need.  But we’re confident that the health care system, community agencies and local government in Dane County will work together to make ongoing improvements,” says Susan Webb-Lukomski, lead author of the report. Click here to read the full report



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