On Monday May 8, the Department of Employee Trust Funds submitted signed contracts to self-insure the state’s health program to the Joint Committee on Finance. This submission begins the 21-day passive review period for JFC to decide if they will act.
The three-year contracts include contracts with a statewide/nationwide vendor and four regional vendors. The governor’s 2017-19 budget assumes the state will achieve $60 million in savings ($20 million general purpose revenue (GPR) in 2017-18 and $40 million GPR in 2018-19). Walker’s budget in turn invests the savings in K-12 education and uses it to offset increased salary and fringe benefits of UW-System employees.
With the submission of the state contracts, the governor publicly asked JFC members to approve his self-insurance plan. However, the response he received back from members was not positive. JFC co-chairs Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), told the press that the committee is likely to reject the contracts. Nygren also made comments that he believes JFC will identify $60 million in savings through program changes, such as increasing co-pays and deductibles.
JFC has until June 5 to raise objections to the contracts.