Our history

It wasn’t that long ago that educators didn’t have health insurance, but that’s how it was in Michigan before MESSA was founded.

In 1937, MEA launched a new member benefit: a voluntary salary and hospital indemnity program that was marketed to MEA members by a Lansing insurance agent. MEA was a national pioneer in marketing insurance policies to its members. Before MEA acted, school employees in Michigan did not have access to affordable insurance.

That benefit evolved through the years and the Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA) was formed in 1960. We are a not-for-profit 501(c)(9) voluntary employees’ beneficiary association (VEBA). Since 1965, Michigan educators have collectively bargained their benefits with employers.

Today, MESSA is a leader in the Michigan education market, providing outstanding personal customer service and comprehensive medical and prescription coverage, large networks and doctor choice. We also offer vision, dental and short-term and long-term disability benefits. We administer our benefits and manage enrollment, marketing, customer service, member education and disease management programs from our headquarters in East Lansing. Our members include teachers, education support professionals, K-12 administrators and higher education faculty and staff.

Quick facts

  • We cover about 63,000 members and 195,000 insured lives.
  • Members have the greatest choice of doctors and access to expert medical care from the best hospitals.
  • Our Member Service Center has been nationally recognized for 12 years for personal service and cost-effective operations.
  • We are extremely efficient in our use of resources. We do not pay agent commissions and our administrative fees are lower than competitors’.
  • Employers receive training and support to effectively manage employee benefits.
  • Each group is assigned a local field representative to help employees and employers.
  • We provide personal support to members with chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes.
Message to MESSA Members from MESSA Executive Director, Ross Wilson
Mission Statement

Legal Notices
MESSA Board of Trustees

1475 Kendale Blvd., P.O. Box 2560, East Lansing, MI 48826