EAU CLAIRE, Mich. — Eau Claire Public Schools is considering moving to self-funded health insurance, a switch that could save up to $200,000 next year depending on future costs, according to The (St. Joseph) Herald-Palladium.

The district currently purchases insurance through the Michigan Education Special Services Association, a third-party administrator affiliated with the Michigan Education Association, according to The Herald-Palladium. The plan is popular with employees, and the district’s intent is to replicate the coverage that MESSA currently provides, a consultant with the Oak Pointe Group told the school board at a recent meeting, The Herald-Palladium reported.

Superintendent Mark Costello told The Herald-Palladium that he has consulted with a number of companies about saving money on employee health insurance, and has included union representatives and teachers in preliminary discussions. He estimated as much as $200,000 in savings based on a potential 10 percent MESSA rate hike, according to The Herald-Palladium.

"Our district is going to be short of money next year and we have to figure out how to cut costs without cutting staff," Costello said, according to The Herald-Palladium.

The (St. Joseph) Herald-Palladium, “EC schools explore dumping MESSA insurance,” May 11, 2011

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Michigan spends more on teacher benefits than most other states,” Jan. 4, 2011