Gouging must stop

To the Journal editor:

As a seasoned insurance advisor for a local insurance agency, I see very clearly how insurance legislation affects the every-day consumer.

The current laws regarding Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance mandates that motorists purchase the highest medical benefits in the country. The long-term viability of this policy is tenuous at best, and needs to be addressed. I support House Bill 4612 to reform the state’s auto insurance system.

This legislation would implement a medical-cost containment plan and save money for hard-working Michigan residents.

Auto insurance rates in Michigan are too high. Michigan residents spend a greater share of their income on auto insurance than any other state. Medical providers are charging auto insurance victims 300-500 percent more for the same service as they are charging Medicare or private insurers.

Critics of the bill claim that it would leave consumers out in the cold without sufficient coverage. Even at the minimum medical coverage level of $1 million, 99.5 percent of all accident-related medical claims are covered.

Of the remaining claims, a large portion may rely on other health insurance policies, or pursue litigation against the responsible party for any excess medical losses.

The no-fault reform plan will place fair cost controls on medical services for auto accident victims, limiting reimbursements to the same average fees that they charge private health insurance carriers.

These cost savings include a mandatory roll-back of the cost of auto insurance by $125 per car, an average savings of $250 per family.

If you want to put your hard-earned money back into your pocket and agree that House Bill 4612 should pass, I urge you to contact your local state representative and make yourself heard. It is time to stop the gouging.