Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says health insurance rates in his state will drop an average of three-point-five percent under a plan he’s unveiling today. The so-called Health Care Stability Plan has been approved by the federal government. Walker expects the premium drop will happen between this and next year. Last year, Walker says, people buying individual policies under the Affordable Care Act saw premiums skyrocket an average of 44 percent.
Walker today announced his Health Care Stability Plan was approved by the federal government and is expected to lower 2019 premium rates in Wisconsin’s individual health insurance market on a weighted average by 3.5 percent from 2018 rates and by an estimated 11 percent as compared to without the waiver, based on initial rate filings received by the Wisconsin Office of Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). While not every consumer will see their rates decrease, this is a significant change from the 44 percent rate increase the average Wisconsin consumer saw last year.
“People in the individual market saw their premiums go up by 44 percent on average last year, and some saw much larger increases. That’s unsustainable and unacceptable,” Governor Walker said. “Thankfully, the federal government is giving us the flexibility to implement a Wisconsin-based solution to help stabilize premiums. Our Health Care Stability Plan is simple and it lowers costs. In fact, it’s expected to actually lower premiums by 3.5 percent on average in 2019. Thanks to the Wisconsin Legislature for all of its work and support on this monumental reform.”
On April 19, 2018, Governor Walker, through OCI, submitted the Wisconsin Health Care Stability Plan, also known as the 1332 Waiver for State Innovation Application under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for federal approval. 2017 Wisconsin Act 138 allows Wisconsin to leverage federal funding for the operation of a state-based reinsurance plan; the Health Care Stability Plan. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved Wisconsin’s 1332 Waiver application on July 29, 2018.
Governor Walker made the federal approval official today at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Green Bay by signing the waiver into effect and was joined by people who stand to benefit from the Health Care Stability Plan, including Kristine from Brown County who saw her 2018 premiums go up nearly $2,000 – a 120 percent increase.