By Jon King /

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers, including one from Livingston County, announced a legislative package on Wednesday on the steps of the state Capitol to try and fill funding gaps in Michigan’s new auto insurance law.

The 2019 auto no-fault law was touted as a necessary reform to save Michigan motorists from paying the highest in the nation car insurance rates. However, a cap on in-home care hours and the implementation of a fee schedule resulted in the loss of coverage for many long-term care patients who had been guaranteed lifetime coverage.

To help address that, legislators from both parties, including Republican State Rep. Bob Bezotte of Marion Township, put forth a number of bills.
Among them is House Bill 5500, sponsored by Bezotte, which would update what does and does not qualify as medical treatment. Bezotte says items such as wheelchairs and ramps are being classified as medical treatments under the reform law, allowing insurance companies to reduce their coverage, making them unaffordable to patients. A ramp at Wednesday’s event lay across several of the steps to the Capitol, which Bezotte referred to as the 'ramp to nowhere' and said that paying less than half the cost of a ramp does no one any good.

Other bills in the package would give medical professionals the power to define treatment standards, clarify compensation for the home care providers and include and prioritize people injured in motorcycle accidents.

Groups representing accident victims have been working for months, including a number of public protests, to try and get legislation passed that would do just that, but so far none of those bills have made it out of committee.

This latest package is expected to be introduced this week and the legislators intend to call for an immediate committee hearing.

Pictured left to right: Rep. Rogers (D) Kalamazoo, Rep. Bob Bezotte (R) Marion Township, Rep. Lori Stone (D) Warren and Rep. Doug Wozniak (R) Shelby Township.