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Doyle wants tax exemption for health insurance premiums

Instead of creating health care savings accounts Gov. Jim Doyle is proposing creating state tax exemptions for health care premiums.

"Middle class families are getting squeezed by the high price of health care, and this is one way to give them some relief," said Doyle said.

Doyle plans on including the proposal in his next biennial budget which is due early next year.

The plan would provide a new tax deduction for any post-tax premium payments made to employer sponsored health plans.

According to the Wisconsin Budget Office, this new proposal would benefit an additional 637,300 Wisconsin families and individuals who would be eligible for relief. A typical family that pays a $300 monthly health premium would save about $236 a year.

The governor says that self employed and the self-insured individuals already enjoy this benefit, thanks in part to expanded health care the Republican-controlled Legislature passed last year.