July 22

Madison) - With the release of the request for proposals (RFP), the state is taking a formal step to look more closely at Segal's recommendation to self-fund the State Group Health Program. But the RFP and its results will, at best, provide an incomplete picture.

There are serious considerations outside the scope of the RFP process that must be explored--real consequences, ranging from elimination of choice for consumers and greater financial risk for taxpayers to market instability and higher costs for other health care purchasers and local communities.

The RFP process must allow for a fair comparison of self-funding with the current fully insured approach. All else being equal, can self-funding deliver significant savings, provide the same level of access to quality care and keep health care cost trend at or below 2.5 percent per year? That's the track record of the current market competition approach, in which fully insured health plans compete regionally based on cost and quality, and the state has the final say on premiums.

In taking a closer look, policymakers must seek concrete evidence that self-funding will do no harm and will deliver a better product at a lower cost than the current approach has consistently provided. Anything less will reflect what many already know: Self-funding the State Group Health Program is a bad idea.



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