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Wisconsin Medical Society introduces Principles for a Health Insurance Exchange

Release Date: April 15, 2011
Contact: Lisa Hildebrand - 608.442.3765 lisa.hildebrand@wismed.org

Madison, Wis. (April 15, 2011) –The Wisconsin Medical Society approved its Statement of Principles for Development of a Health Insurance Exchange during its Annual Meeting on Saturday. The Statement calls for a user-friendly Exchange that promotes robust competition and encourages innovation among insurers and products while assuring a commitment to value and coordinated care. It also calls for a governing body that is accountable to but independent of state government and takes an active role in ensuring broad participation in the Exchange.

Health Insurance Exchanges have the potential to “provide access to comprehensive, affordable health insurance for Wisconsin residents who would otherwise lack insurance coverage,” says the Statement. “The Exchange should help administer and coordinate health care subsidies and mandates, and communicate with other government programs to determine eligibility. It should ensure insurance portability and continuity of coverage amid consumers’ changing incomes, Medicaid and other program eligibility, and significant life events.”

Society President George M. Lange, MD, FACP, said the Society hopes to engage the public, business and policymakers as the Health Insurance Exchange is created. “Working with the Governor, legislature, patients and purchasing leaders, Wisconsin can serve patients, help employers and improve the value of health care,” he said.

Federal law requires each state to have an exchange operational by 2014. The Society’s Statement, which is posted on the Society’s website, also recognizes the Exchange’s potential as a portal to health information, and as a tool to promote value, wellness and population health for the state of Wisconsin.

With nearly 12,500 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.