Walker’s insurance plan saves $17 million less than stated

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MADISON- According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Governor Scott Walker’s self-insurance plan would save $17 million less than initially projected. Republicans in the legislature had already rejected Walker’s plan, but Walker tried to bring the proposal back this week. This lowered amount of savings is one of several reasons that members of the Joint Finance Committee have given for rejecting Walker’s proposal.

Matthew DeFour and David Wahlberg at the Wisconsin State Journal report:

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to self-insure state employees would save $17 million less than previously thought, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported Wednesday.

The nonpartisan agency’s report, which said the move would save $65 million over two years, not $82 million, dealt another blow to the proposal, which legislative Republicans have already rejected. Walker tried to revive the plan last week, saying workers would face 10 percent premium increases next year under the current group health insurance plan system. . .

Under self-insurance, which is used by many large employers, the state would take on the risk for medical claims for 250,000 state and local government workers, and family members, instead of paying premiums to 17 HMOs, which currently accept the risk.

Many of the HMOs, including Dean Health Plan, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, Physicians Plus and Unity Health Insurance in Dane County, are owned by regional health care systems around the state. Some could lose business under the proposal.

Read more at the Wisconsin State Journal.