Sunday, January 29, 2023

Michigan drivers to get insurance refund; details coming

Lansing, Mich. (AP) — All uninsured Michigan drivers will get a refund due to a $5 billion surplus in a fund that reimburses insurance companies for medical and other costs for people seriously injured in accidents.

The board of the Michigan Catastrophic Fund Association said Wednesday that it voted unanimously to support the issuance of the check. The move comes two days after Governor Gretchen Whitmer called for a refund, citing exorbitant premiums as well as savings under the 2019 law, which curtailed medical expenses and made mandatory unlimited health coverage optional.

“Details of a specific refund amount per vehicle, along with a proposed timeline and logistics, will be announced over the next several weeks,” the board of almost exclusively insurers said in a statement. “The goal is to issue the largest possible refund to consumers while maintaining sufficient funds to ensure high quality care for those who are catastrophically injured.”

Under the 2019 law, the state insurance director must appoint an independent actuary from next July and every third year to audit MCCA, a state-created nonprofit that deals with car insurance for personal injury protection medical claims exceeding $600,000. Reimburses the insurers. If the review – due by September – shows that MCCA’s assets exceed 120% of its liabilities, then the difference should be refunded.

Under the Democratic governor’s proposal, the entire $5 billion surplus would be refunded — $675 per car. MCCA executive director Kevin Clinton said this week that having no surplus would be too risky, adding that the law could require an estimated $100 per vehicle refund.

Whitmer called the pending refund “good news.”

Many motorists are currently paying $86 per vehicle annually to the MCCA. The fee was $220 in 2019-20 but is falling due to legislation.

“It is important for the MCCA Board to do its due diligence and land on a refund amount that will give insured drivers the money they are entitled to, while protecting the longevity of a fund that is seriously involved in car accidents. Pays for the cost of medical care for the injured Michigan, said the Insurance Coalition of Michigan Executive Director Erin McDonough.

Critics of the law said people are owed full refunds because insurance companies have been “messing up” them for years. But he also renewed a push for legislation that halted to help catastrophically injured motorists, who he said are losing care due to lack of reimbursement for rehabilitation facilities and other providers.

Tom Judd, president of the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council, urged Whitmer to show “courageous leadership.” Republican legislative leaders have not accepted the policy bills. In July, the governor and legislature approved $25 million in aid for providers who may show financial loss, although some lawmakers have said this is insufficient.

House Speaker Jason Wentworth said, “We wrote this legislation to include an automatic refund next year, and I’m pleased that our reforms have prompted the MCCA to act quickly and get that money back to the public as quickly as possible.” Substantial savings have been produced.”


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