Covering Wisconsin

Internship Location: Hybrid – Madison WI office, but also doing work in Northern Wisconsin remotely

Organization Type: Nonprofit

Policy Areas: Health policy

During Summer 2023, I participated in the Community Health Internship Program (CHIP). Wisconsin AHEC’s CHIP enables college students who have an interest in community health to be matched with different host sites throughout the state. Through this program, I was matched with Covering Wisconsin. Covering Wisconsin is a federally certified, state-licensed navigator agency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension that works to connect Wisconsin residents with health insurance and other programs that support health. Over the 8-week program, I worked as the Health Insurance Outreach Assistant. The goals of my work this summer included gaining a better understanding of the ways health insurance and health insurance literacy impact individuals, connecting individuals to our health care systems and other programs that support health, engaging in outreach with consumers and community partners, and expanding and improving rural outreach activities. One project specifically involved outreach surrounding the unwinding of BadgerCare. The unwinding process involves reassessing individuals’ eligibility for healthcare programs and determining if they still qualify based on the pre-pandemic requirements now that pre-pandemic policy is getting put back into place. Witnessing the process and its implications firsthand shed light on the complexities of healthcare policy changes and their effects on often vulnerable populations. As I pursue the certificate in Health Policy, this opportunity has allowed me to gain practical experience in the field of community health, and has broadened my understanding of the social determinants of health and motivated a passion within me for public service and social advocacy.