A new health care solution gains steam
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced yesterday that it has approved Wisconsin's proposal for a reinsurance program — the fourth state to win such a waiver. (The others are Alaska, Minnesota and Oregon.)
The big picture: It's not quite fair to say reinsurance is fully bipartisan or non-controversial — it couldn't get through Congress, after all. But it's about the closest thing to a consensus idea that exists in the world of insurance, and it's continuing to move forward.
The details: Reinsurance is pretty straightforward: The government simply gives insurers money to help offset the costs of their most expensive patients. That lowers premiums overall, which in turn lowers the federal government's costs to subsidize those premiums.
Why it matters: Reinsurance works. Insurers in Minnesota are actually looking to reduce their premiums next year — which almost never happens — and they say the state's reinsurance program is part of the reason.