May 18

(Madison) - The Wisconsin Association of Health Plans issued the following statement following the May 18 Group Insurance Board meeting, where the state's consultants outlined preparations for obtaining proposals to self-fund the State Group Health Program. The consultants described their recommendations to reduce the number of health plans serving state employees--possibly (preferably) down to a single payer--and impose artificial geographic regions that don't match current health plan service areas or health care provider practice patterns. The statement may be attributed to Phil Dougherty of the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans.

"Reducing choices and local competition in the market--possibly down to a single payer--is never a positive step for consumers. Wisconsin built a highly effective health care program for state employees using market competition and choice--it is saving an estimated $89 million in 2016 alone. The consultant's recommendations will dismantle the current program and eliminate some of the best performing health plans in the state.

"The recommendations under consideration will create new financial risk for the state, disrupt doctor-patient relationships and increase costs for other health care purchasers, local governments and local communities."

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