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News & Press: Legislative

Governor Signs Healthcare Stability Plan Bill Into Law

Monday, March 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sarah Bass
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From Forbes McIntosh, Government Policy Solutions, WALA Lobbyist


The governor signed his Healthcare Stability Plan bill into law this week, just one week after it passed in both the state Senate and Assembly. 

The state Senate and Assembly both voted last week for passage of a revised version of the governor's proposed Healthcare Stability Plan bill, signing off on changes made to the bill by the Joint Finance Committee. The bill passed the Senate last week  on a 23-9 vote and the Assembly on a 79-16 vote.

The bill - sought by Gov. Scott Walker - creates an Obamacare reinsurance program to contain premium increases in Wisconsin. The legislation lowers health premiums to consumers covered under the Obamacare individual health plans by offering state payments to health insurers. The bill authorizes the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to seek a 1332 State Innovation Waiver from the US Department of Health and Human Services to implement this program. 

According to Gov. Walker, the reinsurance program is estimated to lower health care premiums for those in the individual market by 13 percent in 2019 and by 12 percent in 2020.

"Our Health Care Stability Plan is our solution to Washington's failure; we want to provide health care stability and lower premiums for Wisconsin," Gov. Walker said in a statement. "Today's bill starts the process of stabilizing premiums for Wisconsin families on the individual market. But, we aren't stopping there. Our plan will also bring peace of mind and stability to our Seniors and those living with preexisting conditions. We look forward to pushing each aspect of our plan forward in order to help our state - these are Wisconsin issues and they are being addressed with bipartisan, Wisconsin-based solutions."

The adopted substitute amendment reduces funding by $50 million, due to the timing for when the first payment would need to be made. It also caps the reinsurance payments at $200 million per year and requires the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to recommend to the governor future waiver requests that look at creating a high-risk pool, funding health of health consumer savings accounts and other options to stabilize the insurance market.

Click here to see the adopted language.

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