Michigan Senate OKs bill requiring public workers to pay 20 percent of health insurance premiums
Public employees of the state, schools, local governments and universities would be required to pay 20 percent of their health insurance premiums under a bill the Michigan Senate passed today, MLive.com's Peter Luke reports.
The measure was approved on a near party line 25-13 vote. It comes as officials also have reached an apparent agreement that would reduce proposed per-pupil cuts to K-12 education.
Sponsored by Sen. Mark Jansen, R-Gaines Twp., the cost-sharing on premiums could save public employers more than $500 million annually, including $174 million for state government.
The bill’s cost-sharing requirement would not take effect until after current collective bargaining agreements expire. The bills are opposed by public employee unions, but endorsed by employer groups such as the Michigan Association of School Boards that want cost sharing taken off the bargaining table.
County and municipal employers could exempt themselves from the 80-20 requirement with a two-thirds vote of the governing board. As the bill winds through the process, a cap could be added that would also limit employer costs to $13,000 per employee.
A companion constitutional amendment would ask voters to ensure the proposal applies to university employees.