According to a report by the AP Michigan’s Senate Insurance Committee voted 5 to 3 approved changes to Michigan’s auto insurance law.

The law would reduce the amount insurers must pay for medical care via Michigan’s Catastrophic Claims Association, establish an anti-fraud authority and create a new entity to cover expenses for people catastrophically hurt in car crashes.

Under the existing law Michigan is the only state that drivers have coverage for unlimited medical benefits for injuries and rehabilitationThe MCCA's annual per-vehicle assessment is $186 and will drop to $150 starting this summer, without these changes.

Part of the problem insurers are concerned about is that the MCCA is charged more by doctors and hospitals than they charge the insurers for claims not made under MCCA and those expenses are passed on to Michigan drivers.

For example the vice president and counsel for Farmington Hills-based Amerisure Insurance and vice chairman of the Michigan Insurance Coalition, said auto insurers must pay $2,200 to $3,000 for a shoulder surgery while workers' comp pays $940.

This new legislation would create a fee schedule to address this issue, similar to what exists for workers' compensation injuries.

I believe this fee schedule would be a great idea to control cost, do you?

Opponents to the new legislation includes hospitals and patients.  They are against this legislation partly because they feel it was wrong for the committee to rush a vote on major bills without allowing more time for review.

According to the article the MCCA paid out $1 billion in 2014, mostly for brain and spinal cord injuries, multiple fractures, and back and neck injuries.

The 5 to 3 vote broke down this way: 4 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted for the bills and 2 Democrats and 1 Republican opposed them.

Is it time for us to take a serious look at the MCCA and put in some type of cost control?

No one is saying that catastrophic claims should not be covered, just that we should look at a way to address the problems with the current program.

What are your thoughts about this?

Let’s discuss this today on my show The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.

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