Michigan to end retirement health care for lawmakers

Michigan is rolling back health care coverage for current and future lawmakers according to a new bill that’s on the Governor’s desk. The bill follows another recent bill which put a 1% tax on all insurance claims payments in the state. Signs that Michigan is taking big steps to control its health care spend.

Under current rules, current and ex-lawmakers who served at least six years in the Legislature get health coverage at age 55. Much of the coverage is paid for at taxpayer expense and roughly resembles the level of service the lawmaker had while in public office. Once the legislator is eligible for medicare, this benefit then goes away or can only be used as a Medicare supplement.

The measure is expected to save the state roughly $5 million a year, which is what it currently spends covering lawmakers. The new law will take effect by 2013, meaning that any lawmaker that has not served six years or more in the legislature by that point will not get the retiree benefit.

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