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MBIPC Advocacy Update 12-2-2019

Below is the recent update from MBIPC on the Auto No-Fault Reform:

What if anything will the Michigan Legislature do to fix the new Auto No-Fault Reform in 2019.

The legislature has been on recess over the last couple of weeks but is scheduled to return on Dec. 3rd for its final three weeks of session in 2019. There is some talk that the session schedule might be scaled back to only two weeks (six session days).  The most paramount issue that remains unresolved concerns the state budget for FY 2020. While there is a current budget in place, there is not an agreement between the Governor and the Senate Majority Leader as to the supplemental(s) that would be passed to restore some, if not most of the funding that the Governor vetoed when she received the enrolled budget bills back in September. The fight is over whether she will agree to a statutory change to limit the Executive’s authority to transfer funds thru the State Administrative Board  which the Governor sits on and controls. So far there is no agreement with the Senate, even though the Speaker has apparently signed off on an understanding (not a legislative change) with the Governor. At this time she will not agree to statutorily limiting her Executive authority in this way. Other than the significant budget snag, the only other broad statewide issue that might see action is the legalization  of sports gaming in Michigan. A related issue. . . online gaming,  remains stuck in the Senate due to strong disagreement over the state taxes being proposed and potential loss of revenue to the state.

In a most recent meeting with Rep. Ben Frederick (R- Owosso) who is unofficially the point person for both the Speaker and Rep. Jason Wentworth on the auto no fault issue, we were informed that it is his hope to share issues and proposed legislative language to his leadership team by the end of the year. This will position the  House to begin  detailed discussions with the Senate next year on changes to PA 21/22 both on scope and timetable.   The current fee schedule, the required  CARF accreditation and family provided attendant care limitations are a few of the key issues that have been discussed with Rep. Frederick.  Other auto no fault stakeholders have also been in discussions with Rep. Frederick. To my knowledge, the Senate has not undertaken quite the same effort in working on needed changes to the new law as its members were pretty pleased with what they pushed through.  But, as previously reported,  the Senate Majority Leader continues to state he remains open to a limited conversation and will only support laser focused efforts to address certain issues. So unfortunately,  there is very  limited opportunity for an expansive “reset” in this legislature.  I am sure the Governor will also be seeking and negotiating  certain changes to address some of the poor policy contained in the PA 21/22, however, she continues to believe her  better opportunity to do so is  thru DIFS.  CPAN is meeting with DIFS on Dec. 16th to review the status of implementation as well as to continue the discussion on a number of areas of concern.

Please find the most recent Bulletins issued by DIFS relative to the RBI and PIP Choice  forms as well as reporting procedures for the MCCA.  We have reviewed these documents and have forwarded the  PIP Choice forms on to individuals that will assist in evaluating the readability and clarity of the forms for consumers. There is also questions raised as to what process will be used by DIFS if, and when insurers wish to utilize their own forms.  The RBI form developed by DIFS must be used by insurers.

State of Mi DIFS Bulletin

We are also reviewing the new  bulletin on the MCCA and will provide comment at a later date.

State of Mi DIFS Bulletin 2019-25

Planning and implementation with a realistic timeframe for the continued public education campaign continues. This Fall alone, CPAN and/or the Michigan Auto Insurance Promise have either assisted or organized 15 town hall meetings, most of the them wrapped around the Steve Gruber Radio Program under the Reality Tour.  We will be sharing the additional targeted communities in the coming weeks and  will be starting this next phase of the education campaign after the first of the year.  We will need assistance of many to build on the momentum of educating the public on the new choices and the risks of low PIP coverage policies.   Besides the town halls, we will be going into the communities thru civic and business organizations and others, including political groups to better educate the public.  I expect a strong push will also be targeted in Detroit as we continue to hear that Mayor Duggan is somewhat concerned with the likely small premium reductions that will be afforded to Detroit residents and may be looking for additional changes.  

Thank you to all that continue to step up and assist in our advocacy efforts in Lansing and in the various communities across the state. The fight continues.

Have a restful and safe holiday with your family and friends.

Kevin A. McKinney
McKinney & Associates
216 N. Chestnut
Lansing, MI  48933
(517) 487-2811