The health benefits of being a cheesehead

Wisconsin State Roundup

Published January 1, 2007  | January 2007 issue

A recent study by a health care consultant found that workers in Wisconsin have significantly higher health benefits than the national average.

Employers in Wisconsin plunk down an average of $9,516 per employee just for health benefits. That's almost $2,000 more than the national average. Those costs were also increasing much faster in the state compared with the rest of the nation—9.3 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively. The company also found a similar disparity in its 2005 survey.

While that might sound like Wisconsin employers are the big-hearted types, numerous other surveys suggest that high costs for health benefits are due to above-average health care costs that health care providers charge employers. That, in turn, is due in part to low government reimbursements that providers receive for serving Medicare and Medicaid patients in the state.

Ronald A. Wirtz