Lansing Debate To Reduce High Auto Insurance Rates Begins Tuesday
October 2, 2017
Legislation to overhaul the state’s no-fault auto insurance system is up for a first hearing tomorrow.
Most all lawmakers seemingly agree reform is needed and the system needs to be fixed to lower rates for drivers but differing plans are being put forward. House Bill 5013 was introduced late last month by Republican Representative Lana Theis of Brighton Township and was referred to the Committee on Insurance, which she chairs. A first hearing is scheduled on Tuesday. Under the legislation, Michigan drivers would no longer be required to buy unlimited medical insurance benefits to cover their injuries in case they were seriously injured in a crash. The legislation to reform Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance laws is sponsored by Theis and backed by Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. The bill would let motorists stick with unlimited coverage or instead buy either $250,000 or $500,000 of coverage. The measure would also subject auto insurers to a fee schedule for health services, similarly to how health insurers' reimbursements to providers are lower for Medicare patients.
Meanwhile, a separate bipartisan coalition of 15 lawmakers previously announced a different auto insurance reform plan to bring down auto insurance rates, including Republican State Representative Joe Graves of Argentine Township. That proposal would not change the unlimited lifetime medical benefits provided for those involved in catastrophic car crashes but would establish a fee schedule regarding reimbursement rates. Other aspects include creating a fraud authority and limiting factors auto insurers can use to set rates. (JM)