Minnesota vs Wisconsin (vs BadgerCare) 2019

mn_vs_wi_50_percent.pngNew federal data shows allowing Wisconsinites to buy-into Badgercare as a “Public Option” would slash premiums and deductibles. Data also shows gap with Minnesota is widening. For previous year data, click here or here

On a media call on Oct 31st, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals released a new analysis which has major implications for the high profile health care debate in the 2018 election. We were joined on the audio news conference by State Senator LaTonya Johnson and State Rep. Chris Taylor. Listen to the entire audio here.

The analysis, based on just released federal data crunched by Citizen Action, shows that Governor Walker’s refusal to build on the Affordable Care Act is forcing Wisconsinites to pay thousands more for health insurance on the individual market. In some high cost regions of the state, Wisconsin families are paying over $24,000 per year more per year!

The analysis focused on two questions using 2019 premium and deductible data just released by the federal government:

1. How much would Wisconsinites who buy health insurance on their own save if BadgerCare was made a public option? Governor Walker and the majority in the Legislature have refused to take action on the popular proposal introduced by legislative Democrats. Democratic challenger Tony Evers supports the BadgerCare public option proposal.

2. How much more will Wisconsinites who buy insurance on their own pay than their counterparts in Minnesota? Minnesota, unlike Wisconsin, has consistently built upon the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

For both questions, the analysis used as its baseline consumers who make too much to qualify for federal tax credits, and therefore pay their entire health insurance premium.

Key Findings for 2019 (for consumers who pay the full premium)

  • Wisconsinites who buy insurance on their own would pay premiums and deductibles on average 32.5% less if a BadgerCare Public Option were available. This means they would pay on average $3,685 less for the same level of coverage.
  • Wisconsinites on the individual insurance market will face premiums and deductibles 50% higher on average than their counterparts in Minnesota. This means paying a state average of $3,781 more per year for the same level of coverage. For some Wisconsin border regions, the disparity is even greater.
  • Enacting a BadgerCare Public Option would have an even more dramatic impact for a family of four, saving as much as over $24,000 in premiums and deductibles over private health insurance.

The BadgerCare Public Option Bill (Assembly Bill 449/Senate Bill 363), authored by State Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) and State Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee), would give Wisconsinites the option of purchasing BadgerCare on the Affordable Care Act marketplace. This option would be especially attractive to people who buy coverage on their own without a tax credit, and to small businesses.

 

Figure 1: BadgerCare Public Option Cost, 2019 figures

Annual, Adults* Annual, Child*
Statewide estimate $7,632 $2,388

* – Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimate of a BadgerCare Public Option buy-in. Public Option figures above does not have any deductible, unlike private insurance.

 

Figure 2: Comparison of Major Metros, Wisconsin vs Minnesota, 2nd lowest cost Silver plan, 40 year old individual, 12 months premiums and deductibles

Area Benchmark Silver Plan, Percent Difference* Benchmark Silver Plan, Dollar Difference*
Statewide, Wisconsin vs Minnesota** 50% higher in Wisconsin, premiums & deductibles +3,781 more per year in Wisconsin, on average ($11,317 vs $7,536)
La Crosse, WI vs La Crescent, MN (border cities) 27% higher in La Crosse +$2,618 more per year in La Crosse ($12,215 vs $9,596)
Superior, WI vs Duluth, MN (border cities) 69.8% higher in Superior +$4,929 more per year in Superior ($11,988 vs $7,058)
Hudson, WI vs Lakeland, MN (border cities) 47% higher in Hudson +$3,110 more per year in Hudson ($9,715 vs $6,604)
Milwaukee, WI vs Minneapolis, MN (major metros) 64% higher in Milwaukee +$4,733 more per year in Milwaukee ($12,100 vs $7,367)
Madison, WI vs St Paul, MN (State Capitals) 31% more in Madison +$2,297 more per year in Madison ($9,597 vs $7,300)

* – comparison of 2nd lowest cost Silver health plan, premiums and deductibles, for 40 year old vs Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimate of a BadgerCare Public Option buy-in. Private rates gathered from Healthcare.gov

** – Weighted average based on county population in each state, looking at 12 months premiums & annual deductible for 40 year old. MN rates gathered from MNSure.org

 

Figure 3: The Cost of Private Insurance for a Family of Four, premiums and deductibles, over the BadgerCare Public Option; 2019 rates, 2nd lowest cost silver, by Metro.

Metro Area Cost of Private Plan Over BadgerCare Public Option Per Year, Family of Four* Annual Cost of Private Coverage vs Public Option, Family of Four*
Eau Claire 3.4x higher per year than BadgerCare Public Option +$24,204 in annual premiums & deductibles
La Crosse / Milwaukee / Superior 3.3x higher +$23,049
Rhinelander / Kenosha / Racine / Wausau 3.2x higher +$22,328
Green Bay 3.1x higher +$21,371
Appleton / Sheboygan 3x higher +$19,948
Hudson 2.7x higher +$17,451
Fond Du Lac 2.6x higher +$15,864
Madison 2.5x higher +$14,680
Janesville 2.3x higher +$13,089

* – Based on annual premiums and deductibles for a Family of Four by county, with two 40-year old adults and two 10-year old children, gathered from Healthcare.gov. BadgerCare Public Option costs gathered from 2018 Legislative Fiscal Bureau Memo

 

Figure 4: Current 2019 Premiums & Deductibles, 2nd lowest cost silver for 40 year old, by Metro, and Extra Annual Cost Over BadgerCare Public Option of Private Insurance

County 2019 Premiums & Deductibles, private plans on Healthcare.gov* BadgerCare Public Option, percent vs private coverage, Annual** Dollar amount over BadgerCare Public Option for Private Insurance, Annual
Statewide*** $11,317 per year, premiums & deductibles 32.5% less per person annually if enrolled in the Public Option $3,685 saved per year if enrolled in Public Option
Brown $11,821.6 per year 35.4% less $4,189.6 saved
Buffalo $13,820 44.8% less $6,188 saved
Burnett $11,988 36.3% less $4,356 saved
Calumet $10,871 29.8% less $3,239 saved
Chippewa $12,502 39.0% less $4,870 saved
Clark $12,559 39.2% less $4,927 saved
Columbia $10,223 25.3% less $2,591 saved
Crawford $9,761 21.8% less $2,129 saved
Dane $9,598 20.5% less $1,966 saved
Dodge $10,772 29.2% less $3,140 saved
Door $11,003 30.6% less $3,371 saved
Douglas $11,988 36.3% less $4,356 saved
Dunn $12,502 39.0% less $4,870 saved
Eau Claire $12,502 39.0% less $4,870 saved
Florence $11,915 35.9% less $4,283 saved
Fond Du Lac $9,406 18.9% less $1,774 saved
Forest $11,915 35.9% less $4,283 saved
Grant $9,761 21.8% less $2,129 saved
Green $10,077 24.3% less $2,445 saved
Green Lake $9,777 21.9% less $2,145 saved
Iowa $9,761 21.8% less $2,129 saved
Iron $11,915 35.9% less $4,283 saved
Jackson $12,023 36.5% less $4,391 saved
Jefferson $10,223 25.3% less $2,591 saved
Juneau $9,777 21.9% less $2,145 saved
Kenosha $12,088 36.9% less $4,456 saved
Kewaunee $11,003 30.6% less $3,371 saved
La Crosse $12,215 37.5% less $4,583 saved
Lafayette $9,761 21.8% less $2,129 saved
Langlade $11,915 35.9% less $4,283 saved
Lincoln $11,842 35.5% less $4,210 saved
Manitowoc $11,003 30.6% less $3,371 saved
Marathon $11,842 35.5% less $4,210 saved
Marinette $11,003 30.6% less $3,371 saved
Marquette $9,777 21.9% less $2,145 saved
Menominee $11,988 36.3% less $4,356 saved
Milwaukee $12,101 36.9% less $4,469 saved
Monroe $12,215 37.5% less $4,583 saved
Oconto $11,003 30.6% less $3,371 saved
Oneida $11,915 35.9% less $4,283 saved
Outagamie $10,871 29.8% less $3,239 saved
Ozaukee $12,097 36.9% less $4,465 saved
Pepin $12,502 39.0% less $4,870 saved
Pierce $9,716 21.4% less $2,084 saved
Polk $9,965 23.4% less $2,333 saved
Portage $11,842 35.5% less $4,210 saved
Price $12,559 39.2% less $4,927 saved
Racine $12,088 36.9% less $4,456 saved
Richland $9,777 21.9% less $2,145 saved
Rock $8,913 14.4% less $1,281 saved
Rusk $12,502 39.0% less $4,870 saved
Saint Croix $9,716 21.4% less $2,084 saved
Sauk $9,663 21.0% less $2,031 saved
Sawyer $11,988 36.3% less $4,356 saved
Shawano $13,678 44.2% less $6,046 saved
Sheboygan $10,871 29.8% less $3,239 saved
Taylor $12,559 39.2% less $4,927 saved
Trempealeau $13,821 44.8% less $6,189 saved
Vernon $9,761 21.8% less $2,129 saved
Vilas $11,915 35.9% less $4,283 saved
Walworth $8,913 14.4% less $1,281 saved
Washburn $11,988 36.3% less $4,356 saved
Washington $12,097 36.9% less $4,465 saved
Waukesha $12,097 36.9% less $4,465 saved
Waupaca $10,871 29.8% less $3,239 saved
Waushara $10,871 29.8% less $3,239 saved
Winnebago $10,871 29.8% less $3,239 saved
Wood $11,842 35.5% less $4,210 saved

* – 2nd Lowest silver plan for a 40 year old, 12 months of premiums and deductible, Healthcare.gov

** – based on annual BadgerCare Public Option estimate for premiums & deductibles, Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Oct 2018

*** – weighted average determined by county population estimates