Legislature Passes Extraordinary Session Bills Affecting Health Care Industry

Earlier this week, the legislature held an extraordinary session. In addition to confirming over 50 appointees from Gov. Scott Walker, the legislature approved three bills, with the Senate failing to pass a piece of legislation related to preexisting conditions coverage. The Senate convened first, and the Assembly then convened early in the morning on Wednesday and finished debating and voting on the bills around 8:15 a.m.

Pre-existing conditions

 Early this morning, Senate took up AB 365, related to preexisting conditions, with several amendments. Working with AHIP, AHI attempted to address concerns with the flawed bill which passed the Assembly. The Senate amended the bill to partially address some of the concerns, but the bill still had flaws. Ultimately, the bill failed on the floor in a 16-17 vote. Sens. Dave Craig (R-Big Bend) and Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) joined all Democrats in voting no.


The legislature did pass SB 886, requiring legislative oversight when the Department of Health Services (DHS) submits a request to federal agencies for waivers and/or amendments to waivers. The original bill passed out of the Joint Finance Commmittee required legislative oversight to all state agencies, but the Senate limited it to just DHS. The bill also requires by statute DHS to implement the BadgerCare reform waiver (which was approved by the federal government in October) by placing certain provisions of the waiver into statute. DHS must implement the wavier by Nov. 1, 2019. Despite opposition from numerous health care stakeholders (including AHI), the bill passed the Senate and Assembly along party lines.


 Despite pushback from the health care industry, the bill also passed changes to the state’s Medical Assistance program. The bill requires a 14-day JFC passive review process if DHS seeks an amendment to the state’s Medical Assistance plan or a change to the reimbursement rate for making a supplemental payment to a provider under the Medical Assistance program with an expected fiscal effect of more than $7,500,000 from all revenue sources over a 12-month period.


 The bill requires the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to implement the approved waiver request for the Wisconsin Health Care Stability Plan, a $200 million state-based reinsurance program for health carriers.