September 29

(Madison) - Wisconsin Association of Health Plans Chief Executive Officer Nancy Wenzel issued the following statement in response to the introduction of legislation that would give the Wisconsin Legislature oversight of changes to the health benefit programs for state, and many local government, employees.

Wisconsin's community-based health plans commend Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren for authoring companion bills that give the Joint Finance Committee oversight of the $1.5 billion State Group Health Program and ensure that significant decisions about the State Group Health Plan are made in consultation with the Legislature.

Wisconsin's health insurance industry is part of an economic engine that contributes more than $13 billion to Wisconsin's gross state product. Major changes to the State Group Health Program can have a significant impact on the state budget and larger implications for Wisconsin's health systems, payers and patients, as well as local economies.

Collectively, the offerings under the State Group Health Program make up 14% of the entire commercial health insurance market. Wisconsin's competitive market is the envy of the nation and ensures access, consumer choice, accountability and affordable health care coverage in all parts of the state.

The strong, bipartisan support for this legislation shows that Wisconsin lawmakers believe decisions affecting 14% of Wisconsin's competitive health insurance market and the greater Wisconsin economy merit legislative review.

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