Is the State Health Plan fibbing about wellness savings?

Officials at the State Health Plan are now telling everyone that its draconian wellness initiatives will save $13 million in the first year.

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.

3 Comments

  1. Phentermine

    September 23, 2009 at 10:26 am

    If everybody bought a trip to Disneyland once a year, then Disneyland could afford to charge a lower price for an annual pass. So those of you who don’t buy an annual pass or don’t buy a trip to Disneyland are ripping off responsible consumers. The only fair way out is for everybody to buy a trip to Disneyland or pay the equivalent in fines.

  2. AdamL

    September 23, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Nice try, but the hospital is no day at the park. Emergency rooms have to take everyone and my guess is that if you get hit by a car you’re not going to refuse intensive care just because you can’t cover the full cost. That means the costs are shifted to everyone else. That means if insurance is affordable you should buy it.

  3. EBB

    September 23, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Great come-back, Adam L.