Michigan legislators will be paying more for health insurance beginning in October, according to House Speaker Jase Bolger. This change is accompanied by a bill before the Legislature which will require state employees to pay up to 20% of their insurance costs. The move comes as an attempt to take control of the costs in every level of government as well as embolden the state’s insurance industry by injecting money from public officials.
Until now, legislator’s health insurance has been bought with taxes. Given the tumultuous economy, taxpayers have been pushing for more participation in the program from those who actually benefit from it. Bolger too has been championing this cause, encouraging colleagues to take up paying for their own health insurance to alleviate the financial strain on citizens.
There is another bill up for debate in the Legislature that will impose caps on how much public employees will have to pay for their insurance coverage. At present, the cap is set at 20%, but it may rise depending on how the bill fares in the Senate. Any costs not covered by state employees will be funneled to taxpayers.
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“These are difficult times and the House must do its part to help reduce the cost of government just as we are asking other public employees to do,” Bolger said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Legislators will begin paying for health insurance in October.