Recently, the Michigan auto insurance industry has been lobbying our elected officials in an attempt to break the Legislature’s decades-old promise of providing lifetime medical benefits to those persons that suffer catastrophic injuries in auto accidents. Due to the insurance industry lobbying pressure, two bills were introduced attempting to cap medical benefits, SB 293 and SB 294, available to those injured in Michigan auto accidents. These two bills have now been essentially abandoned;
however, a substantially similar bill has just been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives – HB 4936. The bottom line is that Michigan’s comprehensive No-Fault System is under attack and many seriously injured persons, their families, and the Michigan taxpayers could be confronted with financially disastrous circumstances.The insurance industry lobby is arguing that they want to give Michigan consumers a choice as to limits of medical coverage and thereby making insurance coverage more affordable. The industry argues that motorist should be able to buy insurance coverage for medial costs with limits ranging from $50,000 to $400,000 rather than being required to carry full life-time coverage for catastrophic medical care.Medical and Rehabilitative treatment providers argue that under the current mandatory full medical insurance coverage of the current Michigan’s No-Fault law, accident victims can get the care they need without bankrupting their families and relying on state welfare if they are catastrophically injured. The fear is that taxpayer-funded government benefits such asMedicare and Medicaid will take on a huge share of the burden if some persons opt out of full coverage for catastrophic medical care coverage. In fact, a recent study found that Michigan’s Medicaid system would likely face an additional $30 million in costs in the first year alone if the proposed changes to the No-Fault system are adopted.Now is the time for Michigan residents to contact their State Representatives and Senators and request that they vote to keep the current No-Fault Insurance Law requirements of providing lifetime medical benefits to the catastrophically injured auto accident victims.