Check off another Turnaround Plan objective as being accomplished – requiring school & local government employees to pay 20% towards their health care benefits. Beginning January of 2012, public employers are required to cap the employer share of employee health care costs at $5,500 per individual, $11,000 per individual and spouse, and $15,000 per family. Alternatively, it allows employers to cap employer share of employee health care coverage at 80% of total annual costs. These requirements will apply to state legislators, local government, and public school employers. Collective bargaining agreements currently in place would remain unaffected, but the new requirements would apply upon expiration.
This is sensible reform. Most public school employees pay 0-10% towards their health benefits and many local government workers pay less than Michigan state employees who pay about 17% and private sector workers who pay at least 20%. The legislation allows time to notify employees of the changes, reflects differences in health plan design and respects collective bargaining agreements already in place.
Public sector workers deserve to be paid fairly for the good work they do. These reforms were fair for taxpayers and government workers alike.