Madison—Today Governor Walker’s office released a breakdown of the school districts that saved money by changing or restructuring their health insurance plan.
“Fundamental fiscal reform was needed to free the next generation from mountains of economically crippling debt,” said Governor Walker. “Competition among health insurance providers helped save millions of dollars all across Wisconsin. Now that we have put the power back in the hands of the taxpayers, the deals struck in the past by big government union bosses are being revisited. As a result taxpayers are saving millions.”
The school districts that decided to utilize the cost-savings of the free-market system and take competitive bids on their health insurance provider and modify their health insurance program, saved on average $220 per pupil. Statewide, if all school districts used similar approaches and had similar results, savings would exceed $190 million.
Data from 52 school districts show roughly $30 million in savings due to competition in health providers and design changes.
The savings being realized throughout Wisconsin mirror estimates made by the Governor prior to passage of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10. Those estimates were made by research organizations, one of which claimed $100 million could be saved annually due to competition in school health providers and another estimating between $68 and $143 million in savings due to health provider competition.
Not only do these savings bode well for taxpayers, but these positive reforms free up more dollars for teacher wages and classroom development. Prior to 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 health insurance costs were increasingly absorbing school budgets. From 2002 to 2011, average school district family plan health premiums had risen by 65% to a level $6,700 higher than the average health insurance plan in Wisconsin.
“For years taxpayers across the state were getting a raw deal. Collective bargaining stymied competition for benefits in the health insurance market, and instead directed property tax revenue to those affiliated with big government union bosses,” said Governor Walker.
These savings are above and beyond changes to employee health insurance contributions. A complete breakdown of the savings realized by school districts changing or restructuring their health insurance plan can be viewed by clicking here.