Our lawmakers and Governor continue to seek to “reform” Michigan’s No-Fault insurance system, which provides necessary and reasonable medical care for auto accident victims who are catastrophically injured. One would think that in order to “thoughtfully” reform anything, we should have access to information so we can make informed and educated decisions.
But not when it comes to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) fund, even though it is funded by Michigan drivers. In fact, the legal battle over access to financial information of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims fund will continue now that the MCCA has announced it will appeal a trial court ruling:
The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association has now appealed an Ingham County circuit court ruling that says the MCCA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act and must disclose how it calculates its rates for drivers’ yearly assessment fee, according to a recent MLive article, Michigan’s catastrophic claims fund appeals court ruling, lawmakers working on no-fault auto insurance reform.
For more information, click here to read a comprehensive analysis of Michigan No Fault reform and the latest developments.
What is the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association? The MCCA is a private, nonprofit association made up of a five-person board (coincidentally, five executives from the insurance industry). They manage the MCCA fund, which compensates auto insurance companies when an auto No-Fault claim exceeds $500,000. Most of these people have brain injuries and spinal cord injuries and are disabled for life. They rely on lifetime medical benefits and attendant care to survive.
The MCCA meetings are also closed to the public.
As I wrote last week, the MCCA should not operate in greater secrecy than the CIA. It’s clear that the board is going to do everything in its power to attempt to keep their inner workings private and Michigan drivers in the dark, even while the insurance companies push hard to “reform” No-Fault.
Talk about the foxes guarding the hen house.
As we’ve written about many times before, Michigan has had some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. One of the causes is the annual per-vehicle assessment rate for drivers that is charged by the MCCA. These charges (and large increases in charges in years such as 21% in 2012), have been made by the MCCA board in complete secrecy .
Michigan drivers, who are required by law to pay into the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, have the right to know the facts — especially how the MCCA comes up with its annual $175 per vehicle fee.