Walker administration renews self-insurance push

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is still trying to coax Republican legislators to adopt a shift to a self-insurance model.

Under self-insurance, the state pays for health insurance for 250,000 state workers and their families directly rather than buying insurance for them through HMOs. Walker’s administration estimates the move would save $134 million over the 2017-19 biennium.

The governor’s budget calls for making the switch but Republicans on the Legislature’s finance committee have refused to approve it. They’re not convinced savings will materialize.

Administration officials said Friday that new projections show state workers’ premiums could increase by as much as 10 percent next year under the current insurance model and urged GOP lawmakers to change their minds.

Spokespeople for the finance committee’s co-chairs didn’t immediately return a message.