Wisconsin Set to Become Fourth State to Use Reinsurance to Lower ACA Premiums

Both chambers in Wisconsin have passed a $200 million reinsurance plan that would provide funds to insurers for high-cost patients’ expenses to prevent ACA marketplace premium increases in 2019. The Governor has come out in support of the program and is expected to sign the bill, according to the Journal Sentinel.

"Wisconsin families need stability, especially when it comes to their health care," Walker said in his weekly radio address earlier in the month. "Since Washington has failed to act on the issue, Wisconsin must lead."

In that same radio address, Walker called for the legislature to pass legislation to guarantee insurance for people with preexisting conditions.

Under the plan, Wisconsin would put up $50 million and the federal government would fund $150 million. The state would have to submit a proposal to the federal government seeking approval before the open enrollment period begins in November 2018.

State officials believe the program would reduce premiums in the individual market by 13 percent in 2019 and by 12 percent in 2020. On average premiums rose by 36 percent in 2018. Wisconsin has healthy competition among insurers—11 companies offer policies in the ACA marketplace.

Three other states—Alaska, Minnesota and Oregon—have adopted reinsurance plans. Iowa and Oklahoma had developed plans but withdrew them from federal consideration. Reportedly Trump had asked DHHS to deny the Iowa application and in Oklahoma’s case the administration has failed to act in a timely manner, according to Politico.