Tax credits help Wisconsinites pay for insurance through the ACA

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Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a issue-focused coalition, conducted a study about the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) in Wisconsin and the results show good news for Wisconsin residents, even as insurance premiums nationally and locally are on the rise.

The Leader-Telegram reports:

“People shouldn’t be alarmed by the headlines, and think the sky is falling,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Milwaukee-based Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “I think it’s important we keep this in perspective. Health care inflation was much higher than before the Affordable Care Act.”

A CAW study of the Affordable Care Act shows that premiums in the state increased 14.12 percent, but deductibles actually decreased by 15.63 percent — meaning that rates and deductibles combined led to a 1.2 percent decrease for the most common plans.

Nationwide, the premium increases are closer to 25 percent. Kraig said Wisconsin simply has more providers offering a variety of insurance packages. The Eau Claire market, in particular, is better off because it is less dependent on nationally-run, for-profit providers, he added.

Sue Lane, health care navigator for Menomonie-based Workforce Resource, echoed Kraig’s comments that Eau Claire is in much better positioning than most markets. Lane noted there are three health insurance providers in the Chippewa Valley — Medica, Health Traditions and Security Health.

“Wisconsin is No. 5 in the nation for having the most providers available,” Lane said. “We’re very fortunate to have the choice of providers we have in this area. (One reason) is we have a big presence of the Marshfield (Clinic Health and Mayo (Clinic Health) Systems.”

Medica’s rates went up about 10 percent, with the others being slightly higher than that. Some of those providers have changed or consolidated some of their choices, but she added they are all competitive.

For more on tax increases to the ACA, visit Leader-Telegram