Budget panel leader Nygren says GOP ‘skeptical’ of self-insurance

The co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee says Republicans remain “skeptical” of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to switch to a self-insurance model for public workers.

Republican Rep. John Nygren said Thursday that Republicans are asking for an actuarial study on whether the proposal will save the $60 million over the next two years that Walker promised.

Under a self-insurance system, the state would contract with six health insurance companies to administer the program for about 250,000 state workers and family members instead of purchasing insurance from 17 HMOs.

Nygren says he is skeptical the savings will be there and of the state taking on more risk.

Republicans were briefed on the issue Wednesday but Nygren says there wasn’t a quorum. Democratic Rep. Gordon Hintz criticized the closed-door meeting.