Health Insurance Options for Wisconsin Residents

This module takes about 15 minutes to complete. By the end of this module, you will be able to…

  • …identify health insurance options available for your circumstances in Wisconsin.
  • …describe what Medicare, Badgercare Plus (WI Medicaid), and The Marketplace (Obamacare) are.
  • …compare the benefits of your various health insurance options.

Complete the following pre-learning check to test your knowledge. Answer “true or false” to the three statements below. Click on the blue box to find the correct answer.

Medicare is a free health insurance option available for everyone.

False, Medicare is a free health insurance program but only available for those over the age of 65, receiving Social Security Disability payments or have an end-stage kidney disease.

You can stay on your parent's health insurance until you turn 26.

True, you can stay on your parent’s health insurance until you turn 26. However, you may find a better plan on your own.  Look into all your options from work, BadgerCare Plus (Medicaid), and the Marketplace to find the best option for your budget and health.

Financial support to help you pay for a health insurance plan from the Marketplace (Obamacare) is based on your age, not your income.

False, financial support from the Marketplace (Obamacare) is based on your income. 8 out of 10 people get financial help from the Marketplace.

Your options and costs depend on several things:

  • Household income
  • If you have an affordable offer of health insurance from your job.
  • Age
  • Immigration status

Everyone in your family may qualify for different options.
Go through each option below to get an idea of which program you may qualify for.
This is just a guide. The only way to know you qualify for a program is to apply.

If you need help, call 2-1-1 to find free, local help.

1. Health insurance from a job:

If you get health insurance from your job, you may not qualify for other financial help for health insurance.

Do you have a job that offers affordable health insurance?


If you click on “Don’t Know” you will need to get some information from your job to fill out the worksheet.

2. Medicare:

Medicare is a health insurance program for people who are 65 or older,
have end-stage kidney disease, or who get SSDI (Social Security Disability) payments.

Do you qualify for Medicare?

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you may qualify for Medicare:

•  Are you 65 or older?

•  Are you receiving Social Security Disability payments?

•  Do you have end-stage kidney disease?


3. BadgerCare Plus (State of WI Medicaid):

This program is for low-income adults, parents, and children. You can sign up at any time.
Click the “Health Insurance Options” box below to see if you may qualify for BadgerCare Plus or other financial help.

4. The Marketplace (also known as Obamacare):

Almost everyone can get a Marketplace plan, but financial help is based on income
and if you have affordable health insurance from a job.

Sign up from November 1st to December 15th.
If you miss the deadline, you may still qualify. Sign up within 60 days of:

Click below to see if you may qualify for financial help or BadgerCare Plus:

If you can get affordable insurance from your job, you will NOT get financial help on the Marketplace.
If you are unsure if your health insurance from your job is affordable, find more information at Affordability Worksheet.

5. Under 26+ years-old:

If you are under age 26, you have the option to remain on your parent’s health insurance plan.
But, you may find better options from your job, BadgerCare Plus, or the Marketplace.

Need Help? 
Call 2-1-1 and ask for local insurance help near you or visit the 2-1-1 website.

6. VA Care:

If you are a veteran, you may qualify for healthcare benefits through the VA (Veterans Benefit Administration).

If you sign up for VA health benefits, you will not be able to get financial help from the Marketplace.

To find out more about VA benefits call 2-1-1 for local help near you or go to How to Apply For VA Health Care.

Test your knowledge

Health Insurance Options for Wisconsin Residents Take this 10-question quiz to review the basics and test your knowledge. You can take this quiz as many times as you want.

Certificate of Completion

If you’d like to certify that you’ve completed this module, be sure to contact a UW-Extension Financial Educator to find out about program requirements.