Bankers to Launch One of Wisconsin’s First Statewide Association Health Plans
New rule allows WBA to blaze new trail toward lower healthcare costs

Madison – Rising healthcare costs drove the decision to launch one of the first statewide association health plans in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA). Ninety percent of bankers responding to a recent WBA survey saw their medical premiums increase by 10 percent or more in the last year. 

“We know healthcare costs dictate many of the decisions businesses make today, including Wisconsin banks,” said Rose Oswald Poels, WBA president/CEO. “The new rule offers our association a powerful tool to help our members control their costs and provide top care for their own employees.”

Under a new Association Health Plan (AHP) rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, small businesses can enjoy the flexibility that large businesses have under the Affordable Care Act by pooling together. By joining together, the AHP members may be better positioned to negotiate pricing and coverage options for their members. 

“WBA carefully and thoughtfully evaluated our options on behalf of our members before making the decision to launch this plan. Our focus is finding the best solutions to the issues that keep them up at night,” said Oswald Poels.

The association health plan will be offered through WBA Employee Benefits Corporation (EBC), a subsidiary of the WBA, and will be administered by UnitedHealthcare. Members will be able to choose from a variety of UnitedHealthcare health plans. Members also will have access to UnitedHealthcare’s care provider network of more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide, based on their chosen plans.

“We look forward to working with the Wisconsin Bankers Association to help its members provide their employees and families access to affordable, quality health care coverage,” said Dustin Hinton, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin.

The effective date for the plan will be Jan. 1, 2019. The WBA will hold informational sessions for its members across the state in October.