Town hall meeting to discuss the new auto insurance law

FLINT TWP. — A town hall meeting to discuss the state’s new auto insurance laws will be held March 3 from 6-8 p.m. at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Flint, 2474 S. Ballenger Hwy.

Flint and Genesee County residents are invited to attend this public education forum on the new auto insurance law. Learn about the options you will face when the time comes this July to renew your policies and how this decision could impact your family and your financial future. Last June, Gov. Whitmer signed Public Acts 21 & 22, instituting sweeping changes to Michigan’s auto insurance law. The legislation did away with the state’s model system of lifetime medical and rehabilitative care for persons who suffer catastrophic injuries in vehicular accidents.

At the town hall, you will learn about five important takeaways from the new law:

Policyholders selecting coverage benefit limits will find themselves being woefully under-insured in the event of serious crashes.

The new law requires rollbacks in only the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of insurance premiums. But those reductions are minor and only temporary (expire in July of 2028). Plus, the law calls for a dramatic increase in the amount of liability coverage residents must now buy.

Seniors on Medicare who opt out of Personal Protection Insurance will remain financially responsible, if injured in a crash, for coinsurance, copays and deductibles and will not have coverage for residential treatment programs, long-term care, replacement services, home and vehicle modifications, or transportation, and ongoing therapies, all of which are covered under lifetime policies.

Consumers who choose limited injury benefits, suffer debilitating injuries and cannot pay their bills once coverage is exhausted, face bankruptcy and going on Medicaid (a taxpayer-funded social safety net). Consumers who choose limited injury benefits likely will wind up on Medicaid if they are unable to pay their bills. That’s a cost shift from auto insurance companies to taxpayers.

Auto insurers can continue to use non-driving factors in determining premiums, such as credit information and geographic territories.

The town hall will be hosted by Lansing-based non-profit CPAN. The Flint Chapter of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan is a co-host.

CPAN is a broad, bipartisan coalition of healthcare providers, consumer advocate groups, auto accident survivors and families and caregivers, along with individuals working together in the courts and legislature to uphold auto accident survivors’ rights to quality medical care and rehabilitation under the Michigan auto insurance system.

Details: Call 810-347-9329. — G.G.