For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010
Contact: Michael Van Beek
Director of Education Policy
MIDLAND - More than 95
percent of Michigan school districts' 2008-09 health insurance costs are
Mackinac Center Director of Education Policy Michael Van Beek announced today.
The database contains information reported directly from schools on all their
employer-provided health insurance plans. Details include the plan provider,
plan title, monthly premium costs, employee contributions and number of
insurance costs Michigan taxpayers nearly $2 billion per year," Van Beek said.
"This database provides many important details about how that money is being
spent at the district level."
Van Beek highlighted some
notable information from the data. For instance, the 2008-09 average annual
premium for 602 family plans offered to teachers was $15,786, and the average
annual employee contribution to these plans was $665, or 4.2 percent. Teachers
in 301 of these plans make no contribution to the cost of their insurance
These numbers stand in stark
contrast to statewide averages. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the
average family premium in Michigan in 2008 was $11,321. On average, employees
contribute $2,522, or 22 percent, to the cost of their monthly premium.
Several school districts
stand out for effectively controlling their employee health insurance costs
with innovative strategies and plans, Van Beek noted. Some districts limit
their contribution to monthly premiums and allow employees to choose from a
variety of plans. The employees then pay the difference between the premium of
the plan they choose and the district's contribution. Several larger districts
are partially or completely self-insured, which enables them to control costs
by only paying for actual claims made by employees.
"Rising health insurance
costs combined with declining enrollment and state-based tax revenue makes it
imperative for schools to explore new ways of reducing employee insurance
costs," Van Beek said. "This database can assist school districts in that
The database can be found