Home » Commentary: On auto insurance coverage, legislators did pay attention

Commentary: On auto insurance coverage, legislators did pay attention

A latest opinion piece by Tom Judd of the Michigan Mind Damage Supplier Council (Crain’s, Sept. 12) falsely claims lawmakers are standing by idly whereas the sky falls due to the 2019 bi-partisan auto no-fault reforms. That could not be farther from the reality.

Michigan’s damaged, outdated auto no-fault system was a welcome mat for fraud, encouraging overcharging and overutilization of medical companies by hospitals and different medical suppliers. Making issues worse, Michigan was additionally the one state within the nation to require that drivers buy limitless, lifetime medical advantages with their auto insurance coverage coverage — the primary perpetrator in Michigan’s exorbitant auto insurance coverage premiums.

Lawmakers listened and the 2019 reforms introduced a lot wanted reduction to Michiganders. Not too long ago, greater than 7 million insured Michigan drivers, together with companies throughout the state with car fleets, acquired the most important refund in state historical past. The $400 per-vehicle refunds from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Affiliation wouldn’t have been potential with out these bipartisan reforms, which have saved Michigan drivers an estimated $5 billion thus far. As soon as the costliest state within the nation for auto insurance coverage, reforms have helped to decrease Michigan charges, as evidenced by a latest Insure.com rating of auto insurance coverage by state, and knowledge from the Division of Insurance coverage and Monetary Providers on the mandated private harm safety reductions.

As a result of lawmakers listened, extra Michigan residents are shopping for auto insurance coverage than ever earlier than, with over 202,000 new drivers buying automobile insurance coverage since reforms took impact. Greater than 50 new insurance coverage firms have entered the Michigan insurance coverage market, which additional drives down prices by creating competitors — one other win for shoppers.

Recognizing modifications had been being made to a damaged system that had not been up to date for almost 40 years, lawmakers listened by constructing a $25 million appropriation in 2021-2022 for the long-term care business. This could act as a stopgap for companies that had been struggling to transition, but right this moment just one group has absolutely accomplished the appliance. DIFS created a fast response program to ensure nobody who wanted care was with out. The system has seen 126 formal attendant care complaints filed with DIFS since July 1, 2021, with 119 of these resolved.

The Legislature tackled the difficulty of auto no-fault reform not for medical suppliers and never for insurance coverage firms. Lawmakers listened to their constituents who had been struggling to afford auto insurance coverage. The escalating value of insurance coverage was a direct results of a system that allowed medical suppliers to cost with out restrict for his or her companies. This created an business in Michigan that exists nowhere else within the nation. When you might have a limiteless profit and a limiteless quantity that may be charged, you’re left with an unaffordable and unsustainable system, which is way exterior the scope of the conventional medical system. However do not take the Insurance coverage Alliance of Michigan’s phrase for it. The preponderance of knowledge that exists on this subject — knowledge that led to the Legislature taking motion to attempt to management this method — is in depth.

Opposite to what Judd asserts, mounds of proof illustrating this out-of-control system was offered in testimony by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Affiliation and The town of Detroit, and uncovered and investigated by media shops just like the Detroit Free Press. The nonpartisan Residents Analysis Council additionally produced a report on the topic. Examples of this abuse embrace: medical suppliers charged $3,200 for an MRI when billed to auto insurance coverage, but the identical MRI by the identical physician on the identical facility value solely $500 when billed to Medicare. Learn the testimonies for extra examples of this overcharging and it is no marvel Michigan had the costliest auto insurance coverage within the nation.

The difficulty isn’t about injured claimants’ entry to care, however of suppliers demanding a specific degree of compensation from insurers. Each earlier than and after the 2019 reforms, insurers have remained liable to pay for cheap and medically vital take care of these injured in auto accidents in Michigan.

Regardless of efforts by some to show again the clock on reforms, the details and knowledge compel us to acknowledge lawmakers listened. Their bipartisan reforms created financial savings, cracked down on fraud, curtailed overcharging and gave Michigan shoppers a alternative. We urge lawmakers in each events to remain the course and let these reforms preserve working.