In 2019, our legislature responded to pressures from the insurance industry to reduce coverages for injured parties when it came to providing them with benefits-- especially if they were catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle accident. These proposed changes by the insurance industry were sold to our legislators based on the premise that they would reduce insurance premiums, which admittedly were the highest in the nation. What was missed is that Michigan also had the best auto insurance protection for our citizens in the nation.
Also, what Michigan citizens were told is that they would now have the luxury of “opting-out” of coverage, all in the name of saving money. What we have seen since the new laws were adopted is a massive decrease in benefits to individuals injured in auto accidents with very little insurance savings, if any. One of the ads we see on television is “only buy the insurance coverage that you need”. Of course, no one knows what insurance coverage they need until they are seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident. My greatest fear is for individuals on Medicare or Medicaid as well, who in the name of saving money on their insurance premiums do not realize that by “opting-out” all the benefits they are giving up in the event that they are injured. This needs to be kept in mind because there is an old phrase, “You get what you pay for” and this applies equally to purchasing motor vehicle insurance coverage to protect yourself in the event of a serious accident. Remember even good drivers are seriously injured do the negligence of other drivers, when such drivers might be texting, or God forbid even suffer a medical emergency causing the other driver to lose control over their vehicle on a two-lane highway. The focus of this article is on senior citizens who have or may choose the option of completely “opting-out” from no fault allowable expense PIP benefits. They may have the option to do so if they are covered under Parts A & B of Medicare and the person’s spouse and any resident relative of their home has Medicare “qualified health coverage” or has no-fault PIP coverage under a separate policy.
Seniors who select this option need to understand what benefits are not available under Medicare but maybe needed should they become seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident. In such regard, I have set forth a table identifying how injured parties care and rehabilitation needs would be covered under Michigan’s no-fault lifetime/unlimited medical expense coverage verses what is available to an injured party under Medicare.
Contact my office for a Free Copy of this Chart. I have also written a book, “Buying Auto Insurance In Michigan” under Michigan’s new no-fault law. Free copies of the book are available upon request.