ERIC Number: ED457591
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Dec
Health Insurance for Public School Teachers in Wisconsin: A Good Value for Taxpayers or a Case of Market Abuse?
Browne, Mark; Leetch, Linda
Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Report, v13 n8 Dec 2000
A study examined one state's suggestion for more cost-effective health insurance for teachers. Health insurance coverage for public school teachers in Wisconsin is determined through a collective-bargaining process. The Wisconsin Education Association (WEA) Insurance Corporation is affiliated with the states largest teachers' union and provides coverage to about 85 percent of the state's districts. Districts rarely put health insurance plans out to bid. Relative to other health insurers, WEA is more profitable. These facts suggest that competition between health insurers for teachers is limited. A current study reports a statistical analysis that tested whether WEA charges more for coverage than other insurers, controlling for demographic differences of those insured, policy characteristics, and other factors that are believed to be associated with the price of coverage. The results indicate that WEA does charge more than other insurers. The ability of the union-district contract negotiation process to result in an equitable determination of health insurance coverage is cast into doubt. Without a change in the rules governing the negotiation of health insurance benefits, there is little reason to believe that a competitive market for teachers' insurance will exist. A model for possible reform suggests the health insurance pool for state employees as an alternative. Assuming that the average teacher has the same health risks as an average state employee, the average teacher would have the equivalent of a pay raise of $875. Statewide the savings would be approximately $50 million a year. (RKJ)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Fringe Benefits, Health Insurance, Insurance Companies, Public School Teachers
Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, P.O. Box 487, Thiensville, WI 53092. Tel: 262-241-0514. For full text: http://www.wpri.org/Reports/reports.html.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Policy Research Inst., Milwaukee.
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin