December 19, 2014

Health insurance rebates expected

Supporters of federal health care reforms say many Wisconsinites will see the first financial benefits of the law in the coming month.

A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates Wisconsin consumers will receive over $16 million in rebates from health insurance providers. Robert Kraig with Citizen Action of Wisconsin says it’s because of a provision in the federal Affordable Care Act that prevents insurance providers from using more than 20 percent of premiums for purposes other than the cost of care. The rest must go back to consumers.

Over 365,000 Wisconsinites will qualify for the rebates, although only those who personally purchase their insurance are likely to receive a check. For those with insurance through an employer, Kraig says most will likely see lower premiums instead.

Kraig says it’s a benefit Wisconsinites almost didn’t receive, after Governor Walker requested a waiver from the individual mandate last year. That request, along with similar ones from several other states, was denied by the federal government.

Providers have until later this summer to issue the rebates.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:13)