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WI grapples with health exchange implementation

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s most recent budget proposal calls for the state to spend $76.5 million and hire 89 staff members over the next two years to comply with the Affordable Care Act, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Since the implementation of Act 10, which increased state worker healthcare contributions, Walker is proposing other measures to fund the implementation of the benefits exchange, including its websites, customer service centers and other related expenses. He suggests the Group Insurance Board that administers public employee benefits offer members a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP), in which each member is allotted a certain amount of money for his or her healthcare, reports Biz Times. These plans could save the state between 20 and 30 percent of healthcare costs.

While CDHPs are common in the private sector, the West Bend School District already offers them.

Amid Walker’s proposals, state legislators are still voicing opposition to the health reform. Many have questioned whether federal officials will be fully prepared to operate the state’s exchange in January. In November, 2012, Wisconsin announced it would not implement its own exchange and would defer to the federal government. In addition, the role Wisconsin will play in its marketplace has yet to be defined.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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