Coalition introduces alternative reform on no-fault auto insurance
October 17, 2017
Article courtesy of MIRS News Service
Eleven bills of an alternative no-fault auto insurance reform package, sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers led by Rep. Ben Frederick (R-Owosso), were introduced this week.
Rep. Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) has said the plan would reduce rates by 20 to 30 percent without cutting benefits. The package would create fee schedules for medical services, coordinate auto policies with health insurance policies, reform use of non-driving factors in rate setting, regulate home health care of accident victims and add fraud prevention. The plan has the support of the Coalition to Protect Auto No-Fault (CPAN).
It is also considered an alternative to the reform plan offered by House Speaker Tom Leoanrd (R-Dewitt), Rep. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, HB 5013, under consideration by the House Insurance Committee.
“One of the key cruxes of the debate for a very long time has been a reduction of any kind to the personal injury protection (PIP) benefit,” Frederick said. “So if the central piece of 5013 remains the tiered PIP levels, I think it would be very difficult for some members, myself included, to get on board with it. My hope is that we make it clear there are some cost drivers that have more wide consensus that maybe we can tackle in some way and still move the ball forward on some reforms here.”
The bills introduced this week are HB 5101, sponsored by Rep. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek); HB 5012 and HB 5103, by Rep. Steve Marino (R-Mt. Clemens); HB 5104, by Rep. Edward Canfield (R-Sebewaing); HB 5105, by Rep. Michael Webber (R-Rochester Hills); HB 5106, by Rep. Brett Roberts (R-Charlotte); HB 5107, by Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Ann Arbor); HB 5108, by Frederick; HB 5109, by Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park); HB 5110, by Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond); and HB 5111, by Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit).
Frederick said there may be a couple of additional bills to complete the package.
It remains unclear what kind of a reception the alternative package will get from House leadership. Both Leonard and Theis have said they are “laser focused” on passage of HB 5013. Theis has not said whether she will give a hearing in the Insurance Committee to the alternative bills.
“I tend to be an optimist,” Frederick said. “The bills are a large package purposely. Members were encouraged to consider each bill individually on its own merits and each one is kind of distinct and a precise proposal. There is the option for leadership, if they wish, to have a number of ideas from which to draw and maybe open up negotiation. That is certainly not up to me and I’ll respect that process as it moves forward.”