Members Urged to Contact Legislators in Response to Last-minute Auto No-fault Effort
Posted on December 14, 2018
The MHA is urging its members to contact their state legislators and ask them to vote no on any effort to dismantle Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance law in the final days of the lame-duck session. The association has learned about the coordination of a last-minute effort to attack Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance that is expected to be put to a vote in the Michigan House of Representatives the week of Dec. 17.
Based on what the MHA has learned thus far about the effort, key elements of the rumored proposal include the following provisions:
- Choice of coverage levels for Michigan drivers ($250,000 and $500,000 options, in addition to unlimited coverage), with a requirement to pass savings on to customers. Under this plan, unlimited and midrange coverage packages could be priced so high that drivers simply couldn’t afford them, driving consumers to no other choice but the lower options.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) opt-out for seniors, which would transfer medical coverage from auto no-fault to Medicare. The PIP opt-out has been in other proposals, so it’s nothing new. The MHA remains concerned about the loss of access to wrap-around services, such as long-term care — which is not covered by Medicare — and the potential impact on seniors catastrophically injured in auto accidents.
- A fee schedule based on worker’s compensation, with a carve-out provision for Level 1 trauma centers. Proponents have indicated that they are flexible on the fee schedule and expect it to be negotiated before final passage, but the lack of details about exactly what is being pursued with regard to a fee schedule is concerning. In addition, there are questions about if/how a fee schedule would impact premium reductions.
- Modification of how insurers can use nondriving factors in the calculation of insurance premiums. Some of the factors listed, such as marital status and gender, are already prohibited for use in calculating premiums in statute.
Despite the accelerated path the proposal appears to be on for a legislative vote, it has not yet been drafted into a bill. Overall, it appears to be a sloppy attempt to cobble together what proponents are calling a “grand bargain” compromise at the 11th hour of lame duck. Real reform requires thoughtful consideration of how change will affect patient care and how any benefit reduction will truly result in permanent and meaningful premium reductions for drivers. Therefore, the MHA is requesting that members reach out to their elected officials immediately and ask them to vote no on any legislative attempt to attack auto no-fault during the final days of the lame-duck session.
Members needing assistance identifying and contacting their state legislators should refer to the MHA’s Legislative Action Center. Additional information about the MHA’s general stance on auto no-fault insurance can be found on the MHA website. The MHA will keep members apprised as additional details become available. Members with questions should contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Top Issues - Healthcare