Local WRS Employers
Vol. 18, No. 16
September 25, 2001
2002 Health Insurance Premium Rates Provided To Local Governments
Now is a good time to review your employee health insurance needs
and compare them to the Wisconsin Public Employers (WPE) information
in this Bulletin. The WPE Group Health Insurance Program
has been available to local governments since 1987 through the Department
of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). Currently, 255 local employers participate.
More than 10,000 active and retired local employees and their dependents
are enrolled in the program.
When an employer joins the program, all Wisconsin Retirement System
(WRS) eligible employees must be offered coverage. Eligibility includes
WRS retirees covered under your current group health insurance program.
The WPE health program has no underwriting and there are no waiting
periods for pre-existing medical conditions for eligible employees
and retirees who were covered under the employer's prior group
This Bulletin contains the monthly premium rates for 2002
and a map underlining plans that have primary providers, a hospital,
pharmacy, chiropractor, and dentist (if applicable) physically located
in specific counties. Plans indicated on the map without underlining
have limited provider availability in the county. Each employee
has his or her choice of plans offered. Each October, employees
may elect to change to a different participating plan without restriction,
or to change from single to family coverage, effective the following
The WPE Group Health Insurance Program offers two types of plans:
Standard Plan (fee-for-service indemnity) and
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans. The Standard
Plan is a self-insured health plan, which pools the combined claims
experience of all participating local governments. This pool can
provide local governments with significant protection from adverse
claims experience, reduce costs, and increase negotiating power.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin provides administrative
services for the Standard Plan and State Maintenance Plan (SMP).
The HMO plans include 17 participating health organizations with
locations statewide. HMOs provide comprehensive benefits at a lower
cost than the Standard Plan in exchange for some health care provider
limitations. Except for dental coverage, which may be offered at
the discretion of the plan, all employees enrolled in HMOs have
the same levels of coverage (excluding Group Health Cooperative
- South Central). Uniform Benefits were designed to ease employee
plan selection and assist ETF's efforts to negotiate quality
care at the lowest possible cost. With Uniform Benefits, an HMO
can be chosen based on cost, quality of services and access to specific
physicians or other health care providers.
For more information on the WPE Group Health Insurance Program,
contact Rick Parpart, ETF, Division of Employer Services, P.O. Box
7931, Madison, WI 53707-7931. Call (608) 267-2198, FAX (608) 266-5801,
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Benefit Programs
In addition to the WPE Group Health Insurance Program, ETF administers
the Group Life Insurance Program, the WPE Income Continuation Insurance
Program and the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program. Local
government employers who participate in the WRS may join any of
- The Group Life Insurance Program includes basic, supplemental,
additional and spouse and dependent plans. Employers may join
the basic plan alone or the basic plan plus any one or any combination
of the other plans.
- The Income Continuation Insurance Program provides protection
against the loss of income in situations of short- or long-term
- The Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Program is an Internal Revenue
Code Section 457 supplemental retirement savings plan. It allows
participants to invest a portion of their pre-tax earnings in
a variety of investment options. Both federal and state tax are
deferred on the amounts deposited and the investment earnings
until they are distributed to the participant, normally at retirement.
If you would like more information on any of these benefit programs,
complete the form below and mail it to the Department of Employee
Trust Funds, P.O. Box 7931, Madison, WI 53707-7931 or FAX your request
to ETF at (608) 267-4549.
Link to Order Form