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Bipartisan group of House lawmakers announces new auto insurance bill package

A rear-ended car with damage.
A rear-ended car with damage.

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers gathered outside of the state Capitol Wednesday to announce a bill package to address gaps in Michigan’s new auto insurance law.

The 2019 no-fault law allows insurance companies to pay providers less than the cost of home care accident survivors need.

State Representative Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) is among the package’s sponsors.

She said some interpretations of the law are causing insurance companies to not pay for needs like ramps.

“We need to continue to keep focused on assuring that patients get the care that they need. We’re seeing businesses going belly up because some of these new pieces of legislation that have been passed, and then their interpretations,” Rogers said.

Survivor groups have been pushing for months to make changes they say would fix the 2019 insurance law. So far, none of those bills have made it out of committee.

State Representative Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Township) has sponsored multiple bills he describes as fixing singular items. He said meeting all stakeholders’ needs has delayed progress.

“If we have patients, we know that we’re going to help them, alright? The caregivers? We’re trying to help them. So what’s that leave? Attorneys and insurance companies. Now can you think of a worse scenario or parties you have to deal with in developing some type of idea of what you’re going to do going forward?” Wozniak said.

Still, he said he’s feeling optimistic this package can receive hearings and testimony in committee.

“We can take care of this. We had no-fault for over 43 years. It worked until we finally figured out we need to control all those costs. Well, we need to do that for the post-acute too and that’s where we’ve got to go,” Wozniak said.

In all, Wednesday’s announcement includes four bills.