MI lawmakers say health insurance pool needs more data

A state House panel has approved legislation that would require all public employers to file details of their health insurance benefits plans with the Department of Management and Budget.

Public employers would have 45 days to file detailed information with the Department of Management and Budget. Then the department would have an additional 45 days to report that information back to the House panel looking for ways to save money on health benefits.

Lawmakers have been debating a proposed statewide health insurance pool for all public employees for several months. Republican state Representative Phil Pavlov says they need better numbers to move forward with the reform discussion next year.

"This data is needed in a way as we break into our five different work groups over the next several months, so we have a starting point to better identify," he says.

Opponents of the insurance pool say big savings could only be found by cutting benefits or raising premiums, and they say groups would lose the power to collectively bargain for the best benefits. Supporters say the cost savings would be at the administrative level.