Less than two months after a new state law took health benefits off the bargaining table for public workers and required them to pay at least 12.6 percent — up from zero, in some school districts — of their health insurance premiums, WEA Trust has lost a fifth of its business.
And that means big changes could be coming for the Madison-based group health insurer of mostly school districts that employs nearly 500.
“We’re going to have to adapt and adjust,” said Mark Moody, president and CEO of WEA Trust. “You can’t absorb a 20 percent loss and not do anything.”
The Trust, a not-for-profit company, provides health insurance to just over 100,000 employees in about 60 percent of the state’s 425 school districts.
It was created in 1970 by the state’s largest teachers’ union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council, or WEAC.
Critics have long accused the two bodies of working together to fleece taxpayers through over-priced contracts they say school boards have effectively been forced to sign under union pressure.