Is the State Health Plan fibbing about wellness savings?
Assuming that number is more credible than Executive Director Jack Walker’s PhD, where did it come from?
When Walker was first pushing the wellness proposals he told the General Assembly that he hoped the initiatives would break even after three years. And, to quote documents given to lawmakers during the legislative session:
Aon Consulting, consulting actuary for the Plan, estimates the smoking cessation program will save approximately $3.4 million in claims cost for the FY 2010-11. However, the administrative costs to begin implementation are estimated by Aon to offset any first year savings … Hartman and Associates, consulting actuary for the General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division, does not project any financial impact to the Plan from the proposed smoking cessation program.
The rosiest projections we have so far say the state will not save money with the wellness initiatives. Where is the State Health Plan getting the $13 million figure from. Reporters should not recite the number without asking Walker.