The Wisconsin Medical Society has proposed universal health insurance coverage for the state that includes a "play-or-pay" mandate for employers to cover their own workers or pay the state a fee to do so.
The report, issued last week after seven months of work, was written by the society's 37-member task force. It is based on input from groups representing labor, business, insurance, education and healthcare.
"The society's proposal recognizes that our health care system is under tremendous pressure, and the best way to relieve it is to implement these ideas for cutting costs while maintaining high quality care," said Steve Brenton, president of the Wisconsin Hospital Association and a member of the task force that developed the report.
The society says a universal system should include:
- a standard benefits plan, including treatments supported by best-practice guidelines that also emphasize preventive care;
- patient co-payments for nonemergency urgent care but not for preventive care;
- published prices for common medical services so employers and other buyers of insurance could compare health plan charges; and
- quality-of-care data so payers could choose high-quality care at the lowest price.