Michigan drivers will soon receive a refund on their car insurance payments. As part of the weekly series MichMashWDET’s Jake Neher and Slate’s Cheyna Roth explain why those checks are heading to your mailbox and why not everyone is happy with changes to Michigan’s auto insurance laws.
Over the next few weeks, drivers will receive a $400 refund on their auto insurance. The reason is the historic auto insurance overhaul in 2019 that Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law in an attempt to reduce insurance rates.
But while many people may be celebrating the extra cash in their pockets, many seriously injured people fear losing their care due to other changes in the law, which came into force in 2020.
Chad Livengood is senior policy and policy editor at Crain’s Detroit Business. He recently spoke to Stephen Henderson on WDET detroit today. He said thousands of Michigan drivers seriously injured in car crashes could soon lose a lot. This includes their ability to live at home.
“There are about 18,000 drivers, many of them paralyzed or on ventilators, and their long-term care is paid for by this fund,” Livengood said. “It’s sort of the cornerstone of Michigan’s unique auto insurance law. In other states, you usually end up on Medicaid and live in a nursing home.
Related: Michigan Drivers to Get $400 Per Vehicle Reimbursement on Auto Insurance Payments
The reason people are at risk of losing coverage now is because the 2019 law capped payments to home healthcare companies at 55% of what they charged the fund that pays for these services in January 2019. Imagine suddenly having almost half of your income reduced. It would probably be difficult to maintain your business, your home, or your lifestyle.
Despite protests since the law came into force, it does not appear that there will be any changes to the law. At least not so soon. Michigan House Speaker Jason Wentworth said recently that there were no plans to change the law. Wentworth, it should be noted, was a major backer of the auto insurance overhaul in 2019.
According to The Detroit News, Wentworth said of the various changes he’s considering, “They either roll us back to the old status quo or jeopardize Michigan drivers’ savings and reimbursement checks. At this point, it’s time to move on.
Politics is, of course, at stake in an election year. Although Whitmer has said she is open to changes and corrections to the law, she is focusing her messaging on those $400 checks in hopes that drivers will remember this boost when they go to the polls. in November.
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