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Finance committee heads want insurance reserves audit

MADISON, Wis. - The leaders of the Legislature's finance committee say they'll ask auditors to look into why the state's health insurance programs reserves grew by $63 million last year.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a memo Wednesday showing reserves grew from $81.5 million in 2015 to $144.4 million last year.

The memo notes the state's actuary recommended not spending the reserves in 2016 and 2017 to help cushion a move to self-insurance. Under that system the state covers its workers directly rather than buy insurance through HMOs. The state would assume the risk for medical claims.

Joint Finance Committee co-chairs John Nygren and Alberta Darling told reporters they'll seek an audit looking into why the state's insurance board went that route rather than using the money to defray costs and lower premiums.


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