The Latest: Insurers, medical community support Walker idea
Feb. 12, 2018
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on public hearing on Gov. Scott Walker's health insurance, rural economic development bills (all times local):
Gov. Scott Walker's $200 million plan to reduce health care costs for people purchasing insurance through the private marketplace is winning support from Wisconsin's health insurance providers, doctors and medical community.
The Legislature's budget-writing committee heard the measure Monday.
The bill would authorize the state to seek a federal waiver to offer a reinsurance program. Under such a program, the government would provide money to health insurance providers to pay for between 50 percent and 80 percent of medical claims costing between $50,000 and $200,000.
The Wisconsin Association of Health Plans, which speaks for 12 community-based health plans in the state, supports the bill. So does the Wisconsin Medical Society and the Wisconsin Hospital Association.
Horizon Government Affairs estimates rates in Wisconsin would drop 13 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020 if the program is in place.
Two of Gov. Scott Walker's priorities for the year are up for a public hearing before the Legislature's budget-writing committee.
One measure would invest $50 million a year for rural economic development projects. The other would authorize the state to seek a federal waiver to offer a reinsurance program designed to reduce claims costs for insurers selling plans on the private market.
Reinsurance basically sets up a pool of money for the government to cover the cost of insurers' most expensive cases.
The $50 million for economic development money is designed to stimulate private investment, improve productivity and fill open jobs in rural parts of the state.
The committee plans to vote on the measures Tuesday, setting them up for legislative approval later this month or next.