Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Governor's administration predicts some health insurance rates will skyrocket under Affordable Care Act; opposition groups call numbers Submitted: 09/03/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - The Census Bureau estimates one out of every 10 people in Wisconsin who are too young for Medicare have no health insurance at all.

In January, by law, they'll have to be insured.

In less than a month, people can shop for plans on a new insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

On Tuesday, Governor Walker's administration warned those plans could be costly.

The administration said average rates could increase by as much as 125 percent between this year and last year for certain parts of the population.

But some Wisconsin groups believe Tuesday's numbers are misleading, and meant to scare the public.

The administration says they compared average 2013 costs for plans, and the same plans enrolled in the 2014 federal exchange.

The 125 percent example used a 21-year-old living in the Madison area.

"If you're 20 years old, you're looking at rates that are going to be higher than where you're at today - significantly. If you're 60, their rates are not going to be changing as much as a 20-year-old would. Region to region, there's some big differences region to region," J.P Wieske, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance Public Information Officer, said.

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance released the numbers.

They acknowledge the numbers don't include the several subsidies that will be available to low-income people.

The office also says specific rates for consumers will vary widely.

Even so, some groups are upset with the release.

They see it as a scare tactic for Wisconsinites.

"Right before they're about to do 11 town hall meetings, the day they start them, they release this intentionally confusing press release with not even real rates, just a weird comparison we can't actually confirm or deny," said Citizen Action of Wisconsin Healthcare Organizer Kevin Kane.

One of those town hall meetings was Tuesday in Rhinelander.

The federal government will administer Wisconsin's health insurance exchange.

But Wisconsin officials tried to help people understand the Affordable Care Act changes better.

"The (Affordable Care Act) is complicated. It's very difficult for a lot of people to understand what's going on. We wanted to go around the state and help them understand how all of these insurance changes are going to affect them," Wieske said.

The 11 sessions include stops Tuesday through Friday across the state.

They also presented for audiences and took questions in Wausau, Eau Claire, and La Crosse Tuesday.

See the links below for the Walker administration release and the response from Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

Related Weblinks:
Walker administration: plans under health insurance exchange could be costly
Citizen Action of Wisconsin refutes administration numbers

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

ARBOR VITAE - People who suffer from memory loss often don't want to talk about what they're going through. But volunteers hope a new program in the Northwoods will help people reach out and get help.

The Lakeland Memory Cafe opened for the first time Thursday at Peace Lutheran Church in Arbor Vitae.

+ Read More

SUGAR CAMP - On Friday, we will officially call Donald Trump the President of the United States.

One Sugar Camp bar owner has been counting down the days on a sign outside his bar.

"We had people stopping by and taking pictures and coming in and giving me a thumbs up," says Gator's Landing owner, Frank Pirolo.

Pirolo has owned the bar for 12 years and has lived in the Northwoods for 18 years.

"People have been noticing my Obama countdown sign," Pirolo said. "I been doing that since there was 89 days to go. Haven't missed a day."

Pirolo is excited to see President Elect Donald Trump take office. He takes on a straightforwardness not unlike the man he voted for.

"I'm kind of outspoken," Pirolo said. "I've been kind of referred to as the Archie Bunker of Sugar Camp."

He also has a sign outside of his bar that advertises his burgers, but people likely flock to his bar because he's frank.

"I see something on the news that bothers me, I'll come up with a quip and maybe put it out there," Pirolo says.

But that doesn't discourage him.

"I see good things going to happen," Pirolo said. "A lot of people say he's arrogant. My wife and I for the first time in 44 years have agreed on a political person." 

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Caitlin Harris recently began her family medicine residency at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. She is originally from California.

"A lot of people say 'what are you doing out here in Wausau' and 'can you handle the winters?'" said Harris. 

You would think that someone who grew up Los Angeles would want to be closer to the hustle and bustle of city life. Not Caitlin.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - The Northwoods Transit Connections gave more than 2,000 rides to people last month. 

That's a big jump for the Oneida and Vilas county bus service.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - The T.B. Scott Free Library first opened its doors back in the 1800s. Light bulbs had been invented just 10 years prior.

Now, another technological advance will help the Merrill library go solar in the next few months.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A Northwoods teacher is being recognized for connecting her students with the world. 

Linda Goldsworthy, a social studies teacher at Rhinelander High School, won the second annual Global Educator of the Year Award. 

She is the only teacher in the state to win the award.

+ Read More

VILAS COUNTY - Update:

We now the names of the people involved in a deadly crash that happened in Boulder Junction on Tuesday.

The crash happened at the intersection of Highway 51 and County Highway H just after 3:30 p.m.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here