The Group Insurance Board has approved a modest health insurance premium increase and expanded service areas and provider networks for the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program in 2023. Despite the departure of WEA Trust from the program, members will have more health plan choices.

Concerned about the impact of a significant premium increase on members and employers, the Board approved using surplus funds from past program cost savings and investments to reduce rate increases in 2023.

“Primary drivers of the rate increases are medical costs for ongoing care and the effects of delayed care for acute or chronic health conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Eileen Mallow, director of the Office of Strategic Health Policy at the Department of Employee Trust Funds. “Increased pharmacy costs – particularly for specialty drugs – were also a contributing factor.”

2023 Health Insurance Premiums

The overall state health insurance premium increase for plan year 2023 is 4.0%. The Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Management determines both the state employee contribution to the premium and the employer contribution to the Health Savings Account. Those amounts will be available prior to the annual open enrollment period, September 26 – October 21, 2022.

For participating local government employees, the overall health insurance premium increase for plan year 2023 is 5.4%. Premiums vary based on the employee share set by their employers. Local employees will receive rate information directly from their employers.

2023 Health Plan Changes

WEA Trust will no longer offer health insurance as of December 31, 2022. This change affects approximately 52,000 members who will need to select a new health plan for 2023 during open enrollment.

“ETF worked with health plans to provide all members with more choices in 2023,” said Mallow. “The expanded service areas and provider networks should fill the gaps created by the departure of WEA Trust from the program.”

The Board approved the following changes effective January 1, 2023:

  • Dean Health Plan will offer the Access Plan and State Maintenance Plan.
  • UnitedHealthcare will offer Medicare Plus.
  • Security Health Plan will be a new plan serving west central Wisconsin with access to the Marshfield Clinic Health System.
  • Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative has partnered with Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire to serve eastern Wisconsin.
  • GHC of Eau Claire River Region is a new coverage option in west central Wisconsin.
  • Dean Health Plan – Prevea360 West and Mayo Clinic Health System have partnered to serve western Wisconsin.
  • HealthPartners Southeast will provide coverage in southeastern Wisconsin.

See Upcoming Health Plan Changes for more information and resources. ETF will offer vendor and health benefit webinars during open enrollment to assist members in making benefits decisions.

Other Board Action

The Board also approved increases to the annual contribution and carryover amounts  for pre-tax savings accounts and accepted the annual report for the group life insurance program.

The Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is November 16, 2022.

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