Wisconsin's $200M innovation waiver approved by Trump administration  

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CMS Administrator Seema Verma signed off on Wisconsin's innovation waiver July 29, approving the state to implement a plan to lower ACA premiums next year, according to a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

 

The approved Health Care Stability Plan championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker will cost $200 million total, with $34 million paid for by Wisconsin taxpayers and $166 million by federal taxpayers, according to the report. The plan aims to lower premium costs for Wisconsinites who buy individual coverage on the exchanges but do not qualify for federal subsidies. Their premiums went up 44 percent this year, according to the report. 

The Health Care Stability Plan will cover half the cost of care for patients with claims ranging from $50,000 to $250,000, helping lower premiums, according to the report. Premiums are expected to decline 3.5 percent on average from 2018 levels and come in 11 percent lower than 2019 projections without the plan in place. However, ACA enrollment is expected to decline under the plan. 

The model earned support from the Wisconsin Hospital Association but received criticism from Democrats who want Mr. Walker to further expand the state's Medicaid program. They say the innovation waiver is an election-year strategy, according to the report.

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