Senate, House Approve Auto No-fault Reform Bills; Members Urged to Contact Lawmakers
Posted on May 09, 2019
The Michigan House of Representatives passed House Bill 4397, which would reform the auto no-fault insurance system, in the early morning hours of May 9, just hours after the Senate passed its own version.
The proposal was not run through the committee process prior to being presented to the full House and was met with firm opposition from the MHA and its members.
The bill contains a fee schedule for healthcare providers similar to the current one for workers’ compensation and doesn’t provide real consumer protections or savings, nor does it eliminate discriminatory rate setting practices.
The House bill will now go to the Senate, which is prohibited by legislative procedure from voting on it before May 14. If passed by the Senate, the bill will be sent for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature, who has stated she would veto this legislation.
The current bill adds two coverage options to those approved in the Senate bill. Coverage would include personal injury protection (PIP) at levels of $500,000; $250,000; and $50,000, with an additional $200,000 for hospital treatment. It would also require insurers to offer the current unlimited medical coverage, as well as allowing people to completely opt out of PIP insurance, provided they have health insurance that covers injuries sustained in an auto accident. The bill also restricts reimbursement for family attendant care and does not specifically prohibit insurers from using nondriving elements in the rate-setting process.
The MHA continues to work with legislators on ways to improve this bill to eliminate the discriminatory rating factors, improve patient protection, and ensure provider stability.
Members are urged to contact their legislators to explain the detrimental result that this or similar legislation would have on the trauma system’s ability to serve citizens who sustain devastating injuries in auto accidents. The restrictions in the bill would affect patients who will need lifelong care due to car crashes, potentially depriving them of rehabilitative treatment that would allow them to maintain a meaningful, productive lifestyle.
Members with questions may contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Top Issues - Healthcare