The Group Insurance Board today voted to move forward with self-insuring state employees, just hours before Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled to deliver his budget address.
The decision, which board members approved 10-1, would need approval from the state’s Joint Finance Committee once the contracts are drawn up.
The board has for months been considering a wide range of options on how to restructure the health insurance programs for state employees. It decided to go with one of the more sweeping options, saying the move would save the state $60 million in the next biennium.
Under self-insurance, the state would pay for employees’ medical bills directly instead of paying premiums to insurance companies.
Anthem’s HMO would be in charge of the statewide self-insured plan. The move would also set up four different regions in the state where one or two companies would offer self-insured plans.
A coalition of state health care groups has warned against the change, saying it would cause a massive disruption of a competitive health insurance structure that they say is working well and brings significant savings to the state.