Gov. Tony Evers announced on Tuesday evening he will direct the Department of Health Services to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for BadgerCare Plus recipients seeking emergency and daily contraception.
Evers said people on BadgerCare Plus will be able to enter any pharmacy that carries new FDA-approved non-prescription oral contraception and use money from a new DHS standing order to process their insurance coverage. Individuals will walk away with no out-of-pocket cost.
“Every Wisconsinite should be able to access the healthcare they need when they need it. And, yes, that includes contraception,” he said.
BadgerCare Plus is a government-funded health insurance program that helps low-income people in Wisconsin access health care. The new over-the-counter contraceptive is expected to be available online and in stores later this year, according to the governor’s office.
Additionally, he urged the Republican Legislature to approve a Senate bill that would allow for the DHS to grant postpartum Medicaid coverage for 12 months, as opposed to the current 60-day time limit.
“Tonight, I’m urging Republicans and Democrats to work together to get this bill across the finish line this session and to send it to my desk. We have to get this done.”
Evers also mentioned a lawsuit proposed by Democrats “filed days after the Supreme Court’s decision” which granted back abortion rights to Wisconsin residents, but emphasized that “the freedoms Wisconsinites just got back are already under attack.”
Lawmakers held a hearing Monday on a Republican-led bill to approve a 14-week abortion ban with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest through a binding statewide referendum. Evers said the bill would ask Wisconsinites to strip themselves of “basic reproductive freedoms that were just recently restored to them.”
“I want to speak directly to women in Wisconsin tonight: I will veto any bill that takes away your reproductive freedom or makes reproductive healthcare any less accessible in Wisconsin than it is today. Period,” he said.
Evers also expressed the importance of recognizing Maternal Health Awareness Day in hopes of gaining more support for healthy mothers, babies and families across the state.
“There’s also work we can do together to support healthy moms, babies and families across Wisconsin, especially as we celebrate Maternal Health Awareness Day.”
Find more information on BadgerCare Plus eligibility here.