Introduced by Sen. Shirley Johnson (R) on January 25, 2005, to establish a state health insurance plan for school and community college employees. Schools would be required to replace their current employee health insurance with the state plan when their current employee contracts expire. Details of the insurance coverage would be established by a state "school employee health care board" consisting of two members nominated by the governor, two by the Senate Majority Leader, and two by the House Speaker. Reportedly the state spends substantially less per employee for health coverage compared to many school districts. Slightly more than half of Michigan teachers are currently covered by MESSA, an arm of the Michigan Education Association teachers union, which repackages Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance, collects premiums, and administers benefits. Most other teachers are covered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield without MESSA involvement.
Referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee on January 25, 2005.