UPDATE: Wisconsin budget committee approves Medicaid changes

Published On: Mar 14 2012 01:59:42 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 15 2012 08:04:18 AM CDT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Legislature's budget committee has approved a plan to raise premiums for some of the poorest people enrolled in the state's Medicaid programs, but it will result in fewer children losing coverage.

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted along party lines Wednesday. The changes mean state Department of Health Services officials will reduce the income level that triggers when families must pay a premium. Those premiums would increase for about 44,000 benefit recipients.

The request was part of an agreement between DHS and federal health officials.

The original proposal from Gov. Scott Walker's administration would have resulted in 65,000 poor adults and children leaving state health insurance programs, either because of eligibility or they could no longer afford coverage. The new plan would drop that number to about 23,000.