MESSA building

A rich history

MESSA was born out of need at a time when public school employees had few health care options. In 1937, the Michigan Education Association started the first group hospitalization program for public school employees. For the first time, school employees had access to affordable insurance, providing financial protection and peace of mind.

That program evolved through the years and MESSA was formed in 1960 as a nonprofit voluntary employees’ beneficiary association (VEBA). A VEBA operates much like a member credit union — owned and operated by its members. As a VEBA, MESSA’s revenues can only be used to pay and administer our members’ medical claims. Unlike for-profit insurance companies, not a dime of our members’ premiums go toward shareholder profits or CEO bonuses.

Today, we are proud to provide our members and their families with the largest provider network in Michigan, comprehensive medical and prescription coverage, and outstanding personal service. We also offer vision, dental and short-term and long-term disability benefits.

Our members include teachers, education support professionals, K-12 administrators, higher education faculty and staff. For more than half a century, we have provided health benefits to public education employees, and now MESSA benefits are available to all public employees.

Our members keep Michigan’s schools and communities running — MESSA keeps them healthy.

QUICK FACTS

  • We cover about 63,000 members and 195,000 insured lives.

  • Members have the greatest choice of doctors (Find a Doctor) 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.
  • Our most affordable medical option is the high-deductible MESSA ABC Plan paired with a health savings account (HSA).

  • We provide personal support to members with chronic conditions such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Our rates remain stable and our increases are well below industry averages.
  • 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.

MISSION STATEMENT

To exceed the expectations of our customers by providing extraordinary service and a superior healthcare experience.

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE TO MEMBERS

Ross Wilson, Exectutive Director

MESSA helps you take your mental health seriously

We at MESSA know that teachers and education support professionals often face extraordinary pressure at their jobs that can leave them feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

We’re committed to helping keep educators physically and mentally healthy and on the job — and that’s why we provide excellent coverage for mental health services.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stress is negatively affecting your work and family, talk with your doctor about the value of seeing a therapist.

Traditional, in-person talk therapy and substance abuse treatment is covered like a typical office visit, with no limits on outpatient therapy visits.

In addition, you can talk to a therapist from the comfort of your own home through MESSA’s online doctor service, provided through a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Using your smartphone, tablet or computer, you and each of your covered family members can choose from a roster of certified therapists, counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists. You can then schedule a 45-minute appointment between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., any day of the week, to talk through difficult challenges you may be facing.

If you need help finding an in-network provider, call our East Lansing Member Service Center at 800.336.0013. If you’d prefer to try the online route, visit messa.org/onlinevisits or download the Blue Cross Online Visits mobile app and enter your MESSA health plan information.

ROSS WILSON   •   MESSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

MESSA BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Christine Kriss
MESSA Board President

Jeff Condon
MESSA Board
Vice President

Dr. Charles R. Bacon
Trustee,
Ferris State University

Michelle Chase
Trustee,
Cheboygan Area Schools

Amy Cottingham
Trustee,
Bridgman Public Schools

Michael Graves
Trustee,
Southfield Public Schools

Robert Hanchek
Trustee,
North Central Area Schools

Jennifer Jones
Trustee,
Grand Rapids Public Schools

Tamara M. Lewis
Trustee,
Harrison Community Schools

Liza Parkinson
Trustee,
Utica Schools

Brett Smith
MEA Secretary-Treasurer

Paula Herbart
MEA President

Chandra Madafferi
MEA Vice President

Michael Shoudy
MEA Executive Secretary

QUESTIONS ABOUT MESSA INSURANCE? ASK OUR EXPERTS.

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