May 24, 2019
The Michigan No Fault Insurance Act, MCL 500.3101, et seq, has been an area of contention since it was signed into law by Governor Milliken in October 1973. I graduated law school 31 years ago and have heard about No-Fault reform at least 25 of my 31 years as a lawyer. Many challenges and amendments to the original law have been made but no massive overhauling or revision has ever been seriously launched. News articles this morning indicate that may no longer hold true and changes may be on the horizon.
I woke up this morning to various articles indicating that a very rare, holiday weekend Friday legislative session will take place to introduce a No-Fault reform bill that is claimed be a negotiated, joint bill approved by state Republican leaders and Democratic Governor Whitmer. Governor Whitmer issued an unusual, pre-legislative session statement as quoted by M-Live:
Whitmer said in a statement the deal “guarantees rate relief for every Michigan driver; provides a choice in coverage levels; establishes more uniform and structured compensation levels for medical providers; and removes the ability of insurance companies to discriminate based on non-driving factors.
Details of just what this alleged compromise legislation, if passed, will entail are still trickling in as of the writing of this article. But, just moments ago Crain’s Detroit Business released an article claiming to be privy to some specifics of the proposed legislation. According to Crain’s, one major reform will be that motorists will be allowed to purchase policies providing for differing levels of medical coverage:
Medicare-eligible senior citizens and drivers with private health insurance plan that covers auto injuries would be allowed to opt out of PersonalInjury Protection altogether, resulting in a mandatory 100 percentreduction in that portion of their auto insurance rates, accordingto Senate Republicans.
The other PIP coverage levels would include:
Unlimited medical (10 percent rate reduction on PIP)
$500,000 (20 percent PIP premium reduction)
$250,000 (35 percent PIP premium reduction)
$50,000 (45 percent PIP premium reduction).
According to Crain’s, the legislation would also impose a retroactive, variable-rate schedule for fees charged by medical care providers, which would cap charges for treatment based on percentages of Medicare rates. The legislation will also purportedly cap in-home attendant care at 56 hours per week, and utilize the Worker’s Compensation fee schedule to limit the fees charged therefore.
As part of the alleged compromise, lawmakers allegedly consented to Governor Whitmer’s demand that insurers no longer be able to utilize non-driving factors, such as marital status, credit scores, and homeownership status, to set insurance rates.
Garan Lucow Miller, P.C., will continue to stay on the cutting edge of this breaking issue and update this information once more specifics become available, and of course once the vote occurs.
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Please direct any questions to Christian Huffman, Editor Pro Tempore of the Law Fax Publication and a Shareholder in our Detroit Office. He can be reached at 313.446.5549 or firstname.lastname@example.org