One of the primary reasons for the formation of the Business Health Care Group (BHCG) was a realization by the CEOs of some of the area’s largest employers that health care costs in southeast Wisconsin were significantly higher than in other Midwest cities. In 2003, the year BHCG was founded, a study sponsored by the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health (GMBFH) found that health care costs in southeast Wisconsin were 39 percent above the Midwest average. It was clear this disparity in health care costs could not continue if southeast Wisconsin’s employers were to compete on a national and international basis.
In 2003, 11 corporations with headquarters in southeast Wisconsin and two other existing coalitions founded BHCG as a member-owned Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) to explore alternatives to contain health care costs in the region.
Since January 1, 2006 BHCG has offered member employers access to preferred provider networks through two different claims administrators. By leveraging our purchasing power and the collective experience and knowledge of leading employers and strategic partners, we have made remarkable progress in slowing health care cost trend for member employers.
From 2015 through 2019, the average annual allowed Per Member Per Month (PMPM) medical cost trend for BHCG member employers has been 1.2 percent. This average annual increase compares to cost increases in southeast Wisconsin of between five and 10 percent annually during the same time period.
During BHCG's existence progress has been realized in making our region a more cost competitive health care marketplace. However, much work remains if we are to sustain this progress.