If the complaints of public school districts serve as any indication, MESSA does not
care much about customer satisfaction. And if MESSA's apparent disregard for the fiscal
welfare of its customer school districts is any indication, MESSA does not care how its
business conduct negatively impacts public education. Why should MESSA care if there is no
incentive to care? School districts do not use MESSA because of its cost effectiveness or
its exceptional service; they purchase MESSA insurance because the MEA continually
pressures them into using MESSA. True, MESSA health insurance is now less expensive than
comparable Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage, but that does not necessarily mean that MESSA
is a better buy. It also fails to consider that other private sector insurance companies
can provide acceptable service at a more reasonable cost. In fact, MESSA is a far cry from
overall quality when considering the abundance of legitimate qualms that school districts
have with MESSA.
At MESSA, the needs of members come before the needs of school districts which actually
pay for MESSA insurance. Consequently, school districts have experienced several
difficulties while transacting business with MESSA which require consideration. These
difficulties have severely impaired school districts, because districts are forced to
accept additional costs with no practical means of escape. Overall, the problems that
school districts have with MESSA have produced an unfavorable business relationship, and
MESSA's evident disregard for the situation has fueled discontent about MESSA and the MEA.
The problems relate to the failure of MESSA to disclose essential information, to
negotiate changes in benefit contracts, and to provide sufficient purchasing options for
insurance. Furthermore, school districts have voiced concerns about MESSA's gift coverage
program, its requirement of uniform coverage for MESSA PAK insurance, and its decision to
eliminate "dual choice."