As many state and local governments are looking for ways to reduce their employee insurance benefits costs, Milwaukee County has proposed to end health coverage and is asking thousands of public workers to use the health insurance exchange instead.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the county would save at least $10 million next year by cutting coverage for up to all of its 4,400 workers. The proposal is part of Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s 2014 budget that still needs to be approved by the county board. However, the source noted the estimated savings are based on hypothetical figures for the next year, not on the actual prices of the health plans currently being offered through the federal health insurance exchange.
The reason for the change is the existence of the health insurance marketplace, and David Riemer, senior fellow at Community Advocates Public Policy Institute and the one who provided Abele with the idea, said no government agency hasn’t tried cutting benefits in favor of the exchanges yet.
“If it’s an awful lot of money, you’re almost nuts not to take it,” Riemer told the Journal Sentinel. “It may be a great idea; it may be a terrible idea.”
Wisconsin’s exchange is being ran by the federal government, according to The Associated Press, which as seen issues recently with enrollment.