How can we make informed No Fault changes without the release of MCCA claims & assessment data, data on insurance company profit margins (previously called among the highest in nation)?
Changes to Michigan’s No Fault system cannot be made unless and until the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) releases its catastrophic claims and assessment-calculation data to the public. And we should not be making changes to Michigan’s auto No Fault laws that take away important legal protections from injured drivers until we know just how fat the profit margins are for Michigan’s auto insurance industry.
This last point has been my biggest criticism of Gov. Snyder to date in regards to the auto No Fault “reform” he has championed. Gov. Snyder proclaims himself as a business man and a “by the numbers” type who is above partisan politics. But when it comes to No Fault reform, it seems he and many other Republicans have been driven far more by the promise of lavish campaign contributions from the insurance industry in our post-Citizens United world than they are by the facts or data.
How do I know this?
Because they don’t have any. Or at least not enough, and not nearly the relevant data to make enormous changes to Michigan’s No Fault laws, which have worked remarkably well for over 40 years. But the insurance companies want it, and they smell an opportunity to further increase profit margins with all three branches of government in Michigan in Republican hands.
So No Fault legislation is being put on the legislative agenda yet again in 2014.
In today’s installment of our blog post series on the recent proposals to change Michigan’s No Fault auto insurance system, I will analyze Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall)’s claim that, under his plan for so-called No Fault “reform,” he will create:
- A “new a subset of the MCCA [Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association].” (Per MLive’s Jonathan Oosting)
Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) President John Cornack said it best in his response to Speaker Bolger’s MCCA proposal:
“[T]he insurance industry [is] still pressing forward with changing the state’s auto insurance system without the necessary data from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association [MCCA]. The transparency of MCCA is critical to auto no-fault in Michigan, and without having access to the actuarial tables and economic assumptions it uses to make its projections there is no way to know what changes are appropriate.”
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“Without this information, Speaker Bolger is asking his members to make a blind vote that could cause our state’s most seriously injured people to lose the care they need, and force health care providers to lose millions of dollars.”
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Along with many others, I have long been a been a proponent of bringing more transparency into the inner workings of the MCCA and, in particular, its process for setting and raising annual per vehicle assessment rate, which are inevitably passed on by auto insurers to consumers in the form of higher auto insurance rates.
For more information, please check out the following Michigan Auto Law blog posts:
- “Who’s really funding the MCCA? Auto insurance consumers, not insurers”
- “Fire the MCCA Board of Directors for financial mismanagement”
- “4 dirty little secrets about the MCCA’s latest assessment increase”
I can’t help to think of the Pink Floyd Classic, “Another Brick in the Wall:” If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding!
In tomorrow’s installment in the blog post series, I will discuss why existing cost-controls built into Michigan’s No Fault law make a medical-provider “fee schedule” unnecessary.
– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by llsimon53