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Calley: Auto Insurance Reimbursement Checks Issued Too Early – Sentinel Commonplace

Representative Julie Calley
| 87th house district (R)

Through the middle of next year, families across Michigan will receive a check for $ 400 for every vehicle they insured in Michigan as of October 31, 2021. Refunds will come after reforms of the state's flawless auto insurance laws in 2019.

While I want families to continue to benefit from changes in our laws, I fear the rush to make this refund could have dire consequences for people who have been seriously injured in catastrophic car accidents.

I was proud to vote for car insurance reform in 2019. The changes we made give Michigan drivers the freedom to choose the insurance that makes sense to them, and we have reduced insurance costs across the state by implementing sensible measures to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

Once the most expensive state for car insurance, our state no longer holds this position. According to a national study, Michigan rates have fallen 27% since our reforms went into effect. More than 100,000 uninsured drivers have now purchased insurance cover. Competition has increased with 37 new companies offering auto insurance in our state. And the per-vehicle fee that Michigan drivers put into the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association's fund has decreased from $ 220 in 2019 to $ 86 per vehicle for the current 12-month period.

Unfortunately, the reforms are also having an unintended impact on the care of some people with catastrophic injuries from car accidents.

The new law required a flat rate reduction of 45% in post-acute care fees. It was aimed at providers who were changing obscene amounts before our reforms. They would charge the insurance companies very high rates and then use them as a tool to negotiate payments. What was not taken into account were the caretakers, who were already charging fair prices for their services.

With each post-acute caretaker cutting the rate by 45%, it lowered the fees of vendors who milked the system – but it also forced those who were already charging a fair price to pay far less than they make for the services that they deserve to make available. The result has forced some local service providers to downsize or close their doors altogether.

I advocate a solution that will help these caregivers stay in business and ensure that car accident victims get the care they need. I believe that Michigandans want those who deserve quality long-term care to receive it.

Last summer, lawmakers and the governor agreed that we would like to learn more about the challenges our providers are facing. We committed $ 25 million to keep nurses open in 2021. In retail, the janitors would provide additional data on their business expenses. After the money was spent, the lawmaker and governor would receive a report on the data collected, which was expected to point a clear path forward.

This money has not yet been fully spent, so the report is not yet in for our review. This worries me because the $ 400 reimbursement checks at the plants come from the MCCA fund – the fund that covers medical benefits for people injured in car accidents.

Once the checks are out it becomes very difficult to reform the care. It is irresponsible to issue refunds before we have made sure that all the effects of the 2019 reforms are known and taken into account. I urge the MCCA to reconsider.

– State Rep. Julie Calley (R) represents the 87th district, including the cities of Portland and Lyon, Odessa, Orange, Portland, Sebewa, and Berlin. She can be reached at 517-373-0842.

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