Sen. Vinehout: Exchange Tackles Health Costs for Individuals & Small Businesses

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Oct 14, 2011 No Comments ›› admin
Links to all documents are provided below. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011    

Today Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) released her bill to create affordable health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals. The bill will increase benefit choices and make clear comparisons possible when buying health insurance.

“For small businesses, farmers and others who buy insurance on their own, a well run exchange does two things,” said Vinehout. “First, exchanges give small groups big group buying power. No longer are you on your own buying insurance for just yourself or your business. Second, the exchange provides information not now available to small businesses and individual so they can clearly make an apples-to-apples comparison of plans.”

The idea behind the exchange is to make buying health insurance more competitive. To be a true marketplace, consumers must have clear and comparable information not only on cost but on quality. Vinehout’s exchange puts information about medical performance and price in one place – a website where people, either on their own or with an agent, can comparison shop. Consumers and employers can easily compare the potential price, benefits and quality of each choice.

“Rising health insurance costs are the single biggest problem we face,” says Deborah Noll, Executive Director of House Calls of Menomonie, a non-profit agency that serves the elderly and people with disabilities. “Finding affordable insurance for employees will help us better attract and retain staff and better serve our clients.”

Wisconsin is one of only eleven states without an exchange legislative proposal. Wisconsin must make progress developing exchanges by the end of next year or risk federal government intervention. An exchange bill must be passed by the end of the Legislative Session next May.

“We must carefully design the law to maximize our success. My bill provides a robust approach to lower health costs, brings consumers a choice of plans and gives small business, farmers and individuals the same buying clout as large companies,” concluded Vinehout.

Contact: Sen. Vinehout 608-266-8546

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Click here to read Summary of Bill

Click here to read the Bill

Click here to read the Co-Sponsorship Memo


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Voters for Vinehout

P.O. Box 1274
Eau Claire, WI 54702