President Donald Trump’s administration signed off Sunday on Gov. Scott Walker’s $200 million plan to lower Affordable Care Act premiums.
Under Walker’s plan, consumer costs are expected to go down by 3.5 percent on average next year for individuals getting insurance through the marketplaces established by the act.
Wisconsin taxpayers will spend $34 million on Walker’s plan. The remaining $166 million will come from federal taxpayers.
Walker and lawmakers approved their plan in February but needed permission from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services because the federal government would fund the bulk of it.
They received the federal approval Sunday, and within hours Walker put his signature on it during his stop here. The plan will take effect Jan. 1.
Under the plan, the number of people getting insurance on the Obamacare marketplace would dip in 2019 to an estimated 184,700.
The program — dubbed the Health Care Stability Plan — is targeted at consumers who buy individual health insurance through the Affordable Care Act but who make too much money to qualify for federal subsidies to lower their premiums. Those consumers saw their premiums go up by 44 percent in 2018 in Wisconsin.
Walker’s plan will help insurers cover the cost of patients with claims of $50,000 to $250,000. With the Walker plan covering half those costs, insurers will be able to charge lower premiums.
Under the plan, premiums on average will drop by 3.5 percent from current levels and will be 11 percent lower than they would have been in 2019 without the plan, according to his administration. Walker noted not everyone will see a reduction in their premiums.