Tuesday, the Group Insurance Board passed an increase in premiums of 1.6% for the seventeen HMOs that cover medical claims for 250,000 state and regional government state employees’ health insurance and for the members of their family as well. That increment is less than a third of what big employers nationally are hoped to pay.
The agencies offering Wisconsin’s insurance plans claim the modest increase indicates the state should stick with its present system, and not turn towards an intended self-funding model. Gov. Scott Walker, along with few state lawmakers and other authorities have been pushing that option in an effort cut prices, but few experts say it could really end up costing the state more.
Phil Dougherty with the Wisconsin Association of Health plans, which reflects 11 of the 17 HMO’s covering state employees’ health insurance, cautioned that a switch would be “risky” for the state.
“Why would anyone need to go with an unproven, risky selection for the state when we’ve a model that is been proving itself cost-effective year after year,” he stated.
A move to a self-insurance model would mean HMOs in the association would probably lose state business. The state is thinking about doing so as early as of the year 2018.
Prior month, the state put out an appeal for bids to oversee a proposed self-insurance model in which the state would take the financial risk and pay medical claims straightly. Consultants have assumed the financial affect could range anywhere from $42 million in savings per year to $100 million more in prices each year.
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