Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, January 12, 2015

Health insurance costs report available

Research on health insurance costs conducted in part by a La Follette School alum looks at how Wisconsin State Employee Health Plan controls the rapid rise of health insurance costs in Dane County compared to Wisconsin's other counties.

Erik Bakken, who graduated from La Follette with a Master of Public Affairs in 2014, worked on the research with La Follette School faculty affiliate John Mullahy, a professor of population health sciences in the School of Medicine and Public Health, and Mike Bare and David Riemer of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.

"The WSEHP consistently obtains substantially lower health insurance premiums in Dane County than in Wisconsin's 71 other counties," the authors note in a blog post. "In 2013, an individual plan in the WSEHP was about $1,400 cheaper annually in Dane County, or 16 percent less than the average in the rest of the state; and a family plan was about $3,500 cheaper, also a 16 percent difference. This Dane difference has existed for at least a decade, with the gap slowly widening over that time."

The report is available online.