Wisconsin plans to submit a proposal for a reinsurance program to the federal government by the week of April 15, a state official said Wednesday at the last of seven public hearings on the plan.
J.P. Wieske, deputy insurance commissioner, said at the hearing in Madison that he expects the proposal — the key part of Gov. Scott Walker’s election-year health care stability plan — to be approved by late summer. It would begin Jan. 1.
The $200 million annual plan would pay insurers for about half of the amount of medical claims of between $50,000 and $250,000. That would keep average premium increases for the estimated 225,000 residents who get insurance on the individual market at about 2 percent to 3 percent in 2019 instead of about 15 percent, Wieske said.
It would encourage insurers to keep participating in the Affordable Care Act marketplace in Wisconsin, he said.
Premiums went up about 40 percent this year, and 75,000 people had to find other plans because their insurers left the marketplace.
Reinsurance “won’t solve all these problems functionally, but we think it’s a step in the right direction,” Wieske said.
The plan would include $170 million from the federal government and $30 million from the state budget, Wieske said. Earlier, Walker said the federal government would contribute about $150 million and the state would pay $50 million from Medicaid savings.
Similar reinsurance programs have been approved in Alaska, Minnesota and Oregon.
At Wednesday’s hearing, no one spoke in favor of or against Wisconsin’s proposal.