Michigan Senate Passes Altered Auto Insurance for SeniorsHot Buzz

June 08, 2018 07:24
Michigan Senate Passes Altered Auto Insurance for Seniors

(Image source from: Invest)

The Michigan state Senate is taking a crack right before it breaks for its 10-week summer recess, after multiple failed endeavors to make alterations to Michigan's costly no-fault auto insurance system.

The sizable alteration would let insurance companies offer two options for senior citizens for auto insurance coverage: $50,000 in coverage for health care costs and then their Medicare insurance would kick in, an alternative that would be inexpensive or the current unlimited lifetime benefits for people critically injured in car crashes offered through Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association.

"I would like to be standing up here talking about auto insurance reform for everyone. Unfortunately the House of Representatives hasn’t been able to find the votes, so let’s start with the seniors," said Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "Many of the seniors in my hometown drive to their church, doctor and grocery store. They should be able to get lower rates. We’re pricing them out of auto insurance."

Merely the Democrats said the bills, which passed on votes of 23-13, didn't go far enough and failed to offer an across-the-board approach to lowering Michigan's highest-in-the-nation costs for auto insurance.

The four Republicans, Sens. Mike Kowall of White Lake, Mike Green of Mayville, Tory Rocca of Sterling Heights and Dale Zorn of Ida opposed the bill joining all the Democrats.

"Instead of taking the easy way out by doing something just to get something done, why not get our hands dirty and finally get some work done?" said Sen. Morris Hood, D-Detroit. "The smoke and mirrors just don't work for me."

Alternatively, the lone guaranteed savings would be for seniors who choose the $50,000 coverage option because they wouldn't have to pay an annual fee of $160 for the MCCA.

"It's a step forward that our citizens desperately need," said Sen. Joe Hune, R-Gregory, adding it's extremely difficult to accomplish comprehensive reform. "There is so much money to be made in this system ... when you're talking about hundreds of interest groups and dozens and dozens of lobbyists, it seems like they stymie any bit of significant progress we can make because it's easy, when you have a large piece of legislation, to find a way to vote no."

By Sowmya Sangam

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