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Gov. Walker considers having state gov't provide health insurance to employees

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker is looking at the idea of having the state government provide its own health insurance to its employees, instead of having outside HMO's do it. 

A consultant says the state could save 4 to 5 percent a year by becoming self-insured -- mainly by avoiding taxes and fees under President Obama's Affordable Care Act. 

Tuesdayday, the Republican governor will learn more about the proposal by speaking with health plan executives. 

A committee of the state Group Insurance Board is scheduled to consider the idea on October 11th.

Right now, the state has contracts with 18 private HMO's to insure state workers throughout Wisconsin. Self-insured employers pay benefits directly to its employees, and they carry the risk for their plan's losses. 

The National Conference of State Legislature says at least 20 states self-insure their workers.