Legislators say proposed no fault bills could reduce rates

A package of bills could bring down people's insurance rates 20-30%.

LANSING - A package of bi-partisan bills will soon be introduced dealing with the state’s no fault insurance laws. Legislators say it will lower your rates 20-30 percent.

Right now, there are 12 states with no fault auto insurance, and Michigan is the only one that provides unlimited lifetime medical care to someone injured in an accident.

"We're very much in favor of the no fault law", says Margaret Kroese, Vice President of Neuro Rehabilitation at Hope Network. The facility in Grand Rapids is also a member of CPAN, a non-profit group that promotes no fault insurance. They support the latest proposed legislation.

"It's a package that brings together a lot of different issues that are going on in auto no fault," said Kroese.

The debate is not new. Legislators have been discussing it for years with no changes. "It does feel different this time because there's bipartisan support and excitement behind it."

The new package of bills includes a fee schedule. Right now, there isn't one. "What a fee schedule does is hold all providers to a reimbursement rate for each medical code."

The bill would also limit factors auto insurers can use to set rates, like zip codes or gender to charge some drivers more. It would require auto insurance and health insurance providers to coordinate. Also, it would create a fraud authority.

Finally, it would subject the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to the Freedom of Information Act. "The result is I believe that every area receives a little bit of a cut, but we all come out ok in the system." The legislation is still being reviewed by members of the auto insurance industry who say they aren't sure of the overall savings it would bring to consumers.

The bill has yet to be introduced and even if it is, there's no guarantee it will get a hearing. With the debate heating up in the legislature, many believe it’s a step in the right direction.

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