UPDATE: Computer conversion blamed for health insurance snag - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Computer conversion blamed for children's loss of health coverage

Posted:

MADISON (WKOW) -- State officials say a computer conversion led to approximately 1,500 children being dropped from government-funded health insurance, even though they remained eligible.

One of those children was four year old Andrew Millar, whose Columbus parents discovered his lack of insurance when a medical provider told them he was not eligible, and a co-pay in the hundreds of dollars was their responsibility.

Department of Children and Families spokesperson Joe Scialfa says counties formerly administered the health insurance benefit for foster children and adopted children. Scialfa says as computer systems were transitioned and staff members purged recipients who had become too old to qualify, the eligibility of children was mistakenly eliminated.

Scialfa tells 27 News the problem was discovered in June.

Scialfa says because the counties' former role with the medicaid program, state officials lack a specific number of children affected by the mistake.

Officials say children who have been mistakenly removed from eligibility, can be reinstated retroactively.

Here's a number for more information: 1-866-666-5532.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- State officials tell 27 News approximately 1,500 children were mistakenly dropped from BadgerCare.

An email from the state department of children and families says an effort to remove ineligible children from BadgerCare coverage resulted in eligible children also being removed. State officials tell 27 News the purge was taking place to make sure foster children or adopted children who were too old for BadgerCare were no longer receiving assistance.

Although state officials say the accidental removal of hundreds of eligible children took place in June, Kassia Millar of Columbus says she was never notified her two adopted, former foster children had lost coverage.

Millar says she only learned of the situation when she received a medical bill for several hundred dollars this month, for care which should have been covered under one of her children's BadgerCare plan.

State officials say families where children have been dropped from BadgerCare as a result of this mistake can apply for retroactive enrollment to the health insurance program. Here's the number:

1-866-666-5532.

"I think there's people out there, who still don't know they've been dropped off the plan," Millar, a registered nurse, tells 27 News. "They are going to find out when they get a gigantic bill they can't afford."

State officials say they have been working to identify and reinstate coverage for eligible children who've been dropped. Officials offered no information on what percentage of the children who were mistakenly dropped from the government-funded health insurance program have been restored to BadgerCare.

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COLUMBUS (WKOW) -- A Columbus couple is confused and upset over learning their two adopted former foster children were dropped from the BadgerCare program without any notification.

Kassia Millar tells 27 News she noticed a recent medical bill included a balance due, even though her children had been enrolled in BadgerCare to handle costs beyond what was covered through her private employer's insurance company.

Millar tells 27 News a representative of the state department of children and families told her the disqualification of her child took place in June, and was the result of a computer error affecting dozens, and possibly hundreds of children on BadgerCare.

27 News is following up on this developing story, and will have more on www.wkow.com and in 27 News at 5 and 6.

 

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