January 20

The Wisconsin Association of Health Plans is concerned the Governor is getting ahead of himself by banking on "savings" from self-funding the State Group Health Program. It's premature to start spending "savings" from self-funding when the state's request for bids is not even in draft form. Further, one of the state's own studies said self-funding could cost the state more than $100 million.

Changing the program to a self-funded arrangement means eliminating health plans and providers and disrupting patient-provider relationships. Wisconsin's integrated and community-based health plans consistently perform better in cost control, care management and ensuring proper utilization. Taking some of the best players off the field will increase the state's costs, lower health care quality and have consequences for Wisconsin's private insurance market and taxpayers.

There is more that can be done under the current model to save money. The state's current actuary admits using the market competition model helped the state save $89 million in 2016 alone.

Wisconsin's community-based health plans remain willing to work with the Governor and the Legislature to improve the State Group Health Program while controlling the state's costs, protecting patient-provider relationships and choice and doing no harm to Wisconsin's uniquely competitive health insurance market.

(Madison) - The Wisconsin Association of Health Plans issued the above statement on the self-funding "savings" comment in the State of the State Address. The statement may be attributed to Phil Dougherty, Senior Executive Officer of the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans.

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