Posted on October 05, 2017
The MHA testified before the House Committee on Insurance Oct. 3 in opposition to House Bill (HB) 5013, which seeks to reform the auto no-fault insurance system and would have serious implications for those injured in auto accidents and providers. MHA Senior Vice President of Advocacy Chris Mitchell, alongside MHA Senior Vice President Laura Appel, shared with the committee the hospital community’s concerns with the bill:
- HB 5013 contains personal injury protection (PIP) caps of $225,000 for emergency care after an accident and $25,000 for all other needs after leaving the hospital; $500,000; or unlimited lifetime medical coverage. The MHA has a current position against PIP caps because they leave the injured without the long-term medical and recovery services they need and can, instead, push them to bankruptcy and onto the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program.
- HB 5013 would create a fraud authority and proposes a Medicare-based fee schedule for providers that would, in theory, remove costs from the entire no-fault system. However, insurers must attempt to reduce only PIP premiums for drivers who choose to take massive benefit reductions.
- The so-called guaranteed rate savings for those who do choose less coverage can be subverted by insurers who explain to state insurance regulators that lowering rates would be financially challenging.
- HB 5013 proposes a government-mandated fee schedule for providers, inserting the state into the negotiations between private businesses.
- HB 5013 does not prevent insurers from continuing certain discriminatory rating practices.
The bill received a full day of testimony Oct. 3 and additional testimony the morning of Oct. 5; however, the committee has not yet scheduled a vote on HB 5013.
The MHA continues to communicate its support for common-sense reforms that can help lower rates without slashing benefits for patients. These include aggressive attacks on fraud and abuse within the system; developing medical best practices to ensure patients get the right amount of care; modernizing coverage for attendant care; and finding ways to reduce the number of lawsuits that currently take place in the no-fault system.
In addition, the MHA is developing a growing set of tools and resources for members and others to educate legislators and the public on this issue, including a bonus episode about auto no-fault in the association's podcast series and an hour-long Twitter chat that took place Oct. 4, earning more than 490,000 impressions and reaching more than 44,000 users. The MHA also conducted several earned media interviews with print and television outlets from around Michigan. To view these stories as they are posted, visit the MHA in the News webpage.
Members are encouraged to continue talking with their state representatives and urging them to oppose HB 5013. Members with questions should contact Chris Mitchell at the MHA.
Photo Caption: Chris Mitchell (left) and Laura Appel explained to members of the House Committee on Insurance the areas where House Bill 5013 falls short for Michigan citizens.
Posted in: Top Issues - Healthcare