forms and publications
about etf
frequently asked questions
contact etf
site map
video library
related links
top of page
members retirees employers governing boards careers at etf

Employer Bulletin

Local WRS Employers
Vol. 19, Local G
October 3, 2002

2003 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, 291 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 health plan.

This Bulletin contains the monthly premium rates for 2003 and a map showing plans available by county. Qualified plans are underlined and have primary providers, a hospital, pharmacy, chiropractor, and dentist (if applicable) physically located in specific counties. Plans on the map that are not underlined 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 January 1.

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 that 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 16 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. All employees enrolled in HMOs have the same levels of coverage (excluding Group Health Cooperative - South Central) with the exception of dental coverage, which may be offered at the discretion of the plan. 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 Information about Health Insurance and other benefit programs is also available on our Internet site at

20.1  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 these programs.

  • The Group Life Insurance Program includes basic, supplemental, additional, and spouse and dependent plans. Employers may join the basic plan, 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 disability.
  • 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. 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 this form and send to:

Department of Employee Trust Funds
Attn: Rick Parpart
P.O. Box 7931
Madison, WI 53707-7931

or FAX your request to ETF at (608) 267-4549.




Employer Name

Employer Identification Number (EIN):

Telephone Number
Area Code (       )




Send me information on the following:
  • Wisconsin Public Employees Group Health Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Wisconsin Public Employers Income Continuation Insurance
  • Wisconsin Deferred Compensation


supporting excellence in Wisconsin public service