OUR VIEWS: State needs to rethink insurance

Aug 29, 2012

For years, Michigan residents have had to pay into an outlandish insurance system that’s dictated by state law. Why is Michigan the only – repeat, the only — state in the nation that requires extra coverage for unlimited lifetime medical benefits?

It almost makes you wonder which politicians where in bed with which insurance lobbyist when this crazy system was put into place.

Folks are mandated to pony up $175 per vehicle to pay into the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, which will start paying medical benefits if someone is seriously injured in a crash once the expenses surpass $500,000.

While some people have certainly reaped the benefits of such coverage, the greater populace suffers because of it.

At the same time as that per-vehicle fee has increased 2,500 percent, Michigan residents have been dealing with soaring unemployment and mass exodus from the eastern side of the state.

Life is risky. It seems that every other state in the nation is willing to accept that risk when their residents drive without the unlimited lifetime medical benefits coverage. Or, perhaps, those who are overly cautious choose to pay for extra coverage — such as Aflac, which will pay out for everything from car crashes to cancer to heart attacks for those who pay for such coverage.

It’s time for the state of Michigan, and its legislators, to rethink our insurance system. Take a good, hard look at the system and what the rest of the country has in place, and come up with some common-sense alternatives.

Map a course for less costly insurance. Map a course that will align the state with others in the nation, and save our residents a bundle.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.
 

Comments

Jimvh

+1

GH55

Why is it that in my car I have to have unlimited medical insurance, but on my motorcycle, if I choose to wear a helmet, I have to carry no medical insurance? If I choose to not wear a helmet, I have to carry $20,000 of medical insurance! Whooop de Dooop! That may get the organ donor a "LifeFlight" to the hospital!
We need to make this equitable!

Zeke

Would it kill you all to have someone spell check these articles? There are glaring errors in a good majority of the articles I read, including this one.

On a more substantial note: Did anyone bother to check into how much it ends up costing other states to cover similar situations? With this fee built into the auto insurance rates are we actually saving money in the long run? What measures were taken to look into how this coverage has impacted recipients in our area? Was there anyone receiving funding from this coverage interviewed before the publishing of this piece?

Yes, there is a hint of disdain and rhetoric in my questions, however, they are also sincere questions that I would love one of the people who signed their names on this article to respond to. They seem like fair questions to a group using their publishing power in this manner.

Tri-cities realist

Looks like the insurance lobbyists trumped the lawyer lobbyists on this law... Or did they?

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