Walker plan to lower insurance rates wins committee approval

MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Gov. Scott Walker's $200 million plan to help lower premiums for people buying insurance on the private marketplace has won bipartisan approval from a key legislative committee.

The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday voted 13-3 to pass the bill, setting it up for approval by the full Legislature as soon as next week. The measure has found broad support among health insurance providers, doctors and the medical community. 

Under the bill, the state would be authorized to seek a federal waiver to offer a reinsurance program to lower premium costs and pay for at least 50 percent of medical claims costing between $50,000 and $200,000.

Horizon Government Affairs estimates that rates in Wisconsin would drop 13 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020 if the program is in place.

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