CPAN Board Votes to Remove Hospital Association from Coalition

The Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) announced today that, the Executive Committee of its Board of Directors unanimously voted to expel the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA) from its membership. The vote occurred after the close of the lame duck legislative session, during which MHA sought to broker a deal with the auto insurance industry that would have capped auto insurance benefits for uninsured children and seniors, cut family-provided attendant care for catastrophically injured auto accident victims, and created an unbalanced fraud authority.

“CPAN was created in 2003 for the sole and specific purpose of protecting the Michigan Auto No‑Fault Law as it was originally conceived and to preserve its promise that all seriously injured auto accident victims would be guaranteed lifetime coverage for all necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses. When it was first created, CPAN adopted a Statement of Principles to further define its objectives and the membership commitment that would be required of all persons and organizations who sought to join the Coalition,” said CPAN President John Cornack.

“During the last several weeks of the lame duck legislative session, the Michigan Health and Hospital Association violated those principles and breached that commitment by actively supporting and vigorously pursuing legislation that would have stripped thousands of seriously injured accident victims of their lifetime coverage. Legislation such as this is exactly what CPAN was created to vigorously oppose. CPAN has an abiding obligation to its membership to act decisively to demonstrate that it will remain true to its principles and its mission. That is why the actions of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association cannot be ignored,” said Cornack.

In taking this action, CPAN’s Executive Committee made it clear that CPAN would be willing to work with the Hospital Association with respect to any auto no‑fault proposals that were not inconsistent with the goals and objectives of CPAN.

“If anything, what happened during this lame duck session has galvanized CPAN’s membership to stay strongly united in its common commitment to find fair, long­‑term solutions to improving Michigan’s auto no­‑fault insurance system so that lifetime coverage for severely injured patients is not jeopardized,” said Cornack. He went on to say that “CPAN remains hopeful that MHA will take this opportunity to re‑commit itself to the patients served by the Michigan no-fault system and to act in their best interests to forever preserve, protect, and improve this critically important system of health care.”

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Lame Duck No-Fault Bill Would Treat Uninsured Seniors and Children as Second Class Citizens, Harm Accident Survivors’ Families

CPAN is urging all members to CALL their Michigan lawmakers today and tell them to vote NO on the proposed last-minute Lame Duck no-fault legislation. The proposed bill would cap injury benefits for uninsured children and seniors, limit family-provided attendant care for catastrophic accident survivors and create a biased fraud authority.

  • Michigan House of Representatives: 517-373-0135
  • Michigan State Senate: 517-373-2400

Yesterday, a very one-sided and irresponsible piece of legislation was pushed forward in the State Capitol yesterday. While the bill has not yet formally been introduced, it would severely damage Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system by significantly harming our state’s most vulnerable citizens. This will would:

Creates a one-sided fraud authority run by big insurance companies.
The proposed legislation would create a fraud authority completely controlled by auto insurance providers. The authority would only focus on investigating fraud committed against insurance companies. Stopping fraud is critical, but the approach must be balanced. When insurance companies knowingly deny legitimate claims and consumers filing fake claims are both equally fraudulent activities that must be addressed.

Limits family-provided attendant care to 56 hours per week
Catastrophic auto accident survivors usually require 24-hour care, seven days per week. Most accident survivors prefer to be cared for by a trained family member who knows them best and cares about them the most. A 56 hour weekly cap would force families to use commercial care providers and have strangers in their home five days a week.

Caps care at $400,000 for anyone receiving benefits through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
The Assigned Claim Plan which provides no-fault auto insurance benefits to seniors, children and others who don’t drive and therefore do no have auto insurance policies in their immediate household. Capping care on Assigned Claims benefits unfairly harms some of our state’s most vulnerable people. In addition, studies show that capping no-fault benefits will shift millions of dollars each year from insurance companies onto the taxpayer-funded Medicaid system.

This proposal benefits only one interest group – auto insurance companies. There are zero cost savings to drivers included in the bill language and lawmakers supporting the proposal have even publicly stated that the cuts were never about rolling back insurance rates.

Help us stop this harmful attack on Michigan’s no-fault system! Call your lawmaker and tell them to vote NO on the lame duck auto no-fault legislation!

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CPAN Derides One-Sided Lame Duck Auto Insurance Bills

Lansing – The Michigan Legislature are considering a last-minute bill today that would drastically impact the state’s no-fault auto injury system while benefitting insurance companies.

The bill language includes provisions that would place a $400,000 cap on injury care for individuals receiving benefits from the Assigned Claims Plan, which impacts pedestrians, bicyclist, seniors, children and others who don’t have car insurance or policies in their immediate household.

“CPAN has been pushing lawmakers for balanced and responsible no-fault reforms. This bill is neither of those,” said Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN) spokesperson Josh Hovey. “By capping benefits for those covered by the Assigned Claims Plan, lawmakers would be hurting the most vulnerable auto accident survivors in this state – children and seniors. I just can’t see how anyone would think that is a good idea.”

Previous CPAN studies have shown that capping no-fault injury benefits would shift millions of dollars each year onto the state Medicaid system.

In addition to capping auto injury care for seniors and children, the bill places limits family-provided attendant care to 56 hours per week, despite most catastrophic auto accident survivors requiring 24-hour care.

“These individuals would much rather be cared for by a trained family member who knows them best and cares about them the most,” said Hovey. “Instead, this bill would force commercial care providers onto accident survivors and their families.”

The bill also creates an auto insurance fraud authority that would investigate health care providers that treat auto accident victims.

“CPAN is in full agreement that we need to remove as much fraud as possible from the no-fault system, but the fraud authority created by this bill is completely one-sided. Its board would be completely made up of auto insurance providers and its scope would be limited to only investigating fraud committed against insurance companies,” said Hovey.

CPAN members have provided testimony to lawmakers showing numerous accounts of questionable practices by insurance companies, including an insurance company citing a law that doesn’t exist as a reason to deny an auto injury claim.

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CPAN is a broad coalition of health care providers, patient advocates and accident survivors who are committed to preserving Michigan’s model auto no-fault insurance system. For more information, please visit www.ProtectNoFault.org.


Choice is good, but not at the expense of critical health care benefits

Our friends at the Brain Injury Association of Michigan said in a recent Facebook post, “lame duck session is coming and is scarier than Halloween.” Unfortunately, this year, that’s turning out to be true.

Late last week, Representative Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance, introduced legislation — HB 5951 — that once again puts Michigan’s no-fault system and its critical medical benefits at grave risk. The bill proposes different levels of medical benefits, starting at an abysmal $250,000 cap on medical coverage. This would leave accident victims with limited coverage and zero options.

Research shows when given the option, most consumers would only buy the cheapest option. The problem with this is unfortunately drivers cannot choose whether or not they are involved in an auto accident that changes their lives forever. For those with the cheaper options, insurers cut coverage and shift medical costs to taxpayer-funded programs like Medicaid. The increase in Medicaid cost would be significant. When Colorado eliminated their auto no-fault insurance system, their Medicaid costs associated from just the care related to motor vehicle accidents increase 205% within four years. That is absolutely not the right approach — both for those injured in an auto accident and for Michigan taxpayers.

Legislative options that cut coverage for those injured and moves the cost burden to taxpayers are becoming all to common to fix a system that all can agree needs lasting and comprehensive reform. Reducing medical benefits doesn’t only harm drivers looking for an easy way to save a few bucks each month, but it will be a detrimental impact to our state budget by overusing programs like Medicaid.

Michiganders cannot afford to allow the legislature to allow drivers to risk their recovery and our tax dollars.

No one wishes they will have to use the uncapped medical benefits of Michigan’s no-fault system, but then again, no one wishes to be in a catastrophic accident that changes their lives forever.

We need auto insurance reforms that helps contain costs without impacting the quality of care provided. We also need strong anti-fraud measures, streamlined claims processing and reasonable requirements for family-provided attendant care. Together, these reforms will reduce auto insurance costs while ensuring that Michigan’s most seriously injured accident victims have access to the quality care they need.


CPAN Responds to Michigan Court of Appeals Decision in MCCA Transparency Case

LANSING – Michigan Court of Appeals issued ruling today in the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault’s transparency lawsuit against the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA).

Earlier this year, the Michigan Supreme Court remanded CPAN’s case back to the Court of Appeals and instructed the Court to specifically address the issue of whether the MCCA is a “public body” as defined by Michigan law and whether the legislature’s exemption of the MCCA from the state Freedom of Information Act was constitutional.

Today’s Court of Appeals decision agreed with CPAN’s assertion that the MCCA is indeed a public body as defined by Michigan law. However, the Court split 2-1 in determining whether the MCCA’s exemption from FOIA laws was constitutional.

In response to the court’s decision, CPAN spokesperson Josh Hovey issued the following statement:

“This case is about far more than auto no-fault insurance. Yes, CPAN believes that having open access to the MCCA’s financial records is vital to understanding Michigan’s auto no-fault system. But at its core, this case has broad implications for the openness and transparency of Michigan’s government overall.

CPAN is pleased that the court agreed with its argument that the MCCA is indeed a ‘public body’ because it was created by an act of the Michigan legislature. However, the majority’s decision that the legislature can amend the state’s FOIA laws without amending the actual Freedom of Information Act should be of major concern to anyone who values government transparency.

The effect of the majority decision is to make it possible for the legislature to exempt itself from Article 4, Section 25 of the Michigan Constitution, which very specifically requires the legislature to ‘re-enact and publish at length’ any statute that is being amended by the subsequent act, which was done with the MCCA’s FOIA exemption. If this decision is allowed to stand, it will now be much easier for the legislature to hide exemptions to FOIA in other statutes, as was clearly pointed out in the dissenting opinion.”

CPAN’s legal counsel plans to review the court’s decision in detail over the next several weeks to determine its options for appeal.

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Insurance Industry Proves It Will Use Every Possible Excuse to Raise Rates, But Never to Lower Them

Michigan lawmakers recently repealed an $80 million tax credit mistakenly given to auto insurance providers in 2012.  Now that this tax credit repeal has taken effect, insurers are using it as an excuse to impose a $40 rate hike on Michigan drivers. The problem: insurance companies never lowered our rates when they were enjoying their big tax credit.

According to a recent Detroit Free Press article, instead of decreasing as a result of the tax credit auto insurance premiums actually increased from an average of $1,172 to $1,264 between 2012 and 2013. Interestingly, this was the same time period when insurers were fiercely arguing in favor of draconian changes to no-fault injury coverage because they said it was the only way to lower insurance rates.

The treatment and rehabilitation services provided under Michigan’s no-fault system have often been the difference between an accident survivor living a rich, purposeful life or living permanently in an adult foster home. That is why CPAN is actively working to help provide the legislature with real reforms that improve Michigan’s auto insurance system and reduce premiums without compromising the quality of care provided.

We need auto insurance reforms that helps contain costs without impacting the quality of care provided. We also need strong anti-fraud measures, streamlined claims processing and reasonable requirements for family-provided attendant care. Together, these reforms will reduce auto insurance costs while ensuring that Michigan’s most seriously injured accident victims have access to the quality care they need.



D-Insurance isn’t what you think it is

Detroit News

Mayor Mike Duggan and the insurance companies that support his cause are trying to pull the wool over many eyes about the effect his proposed D-Insurance legislation will have on the people of Detroit.

Currently, the Michigan No-Fault Auto Insurance Law guarantees that children who are seriously injured in auto accidents have comprehensive medical coverage for any product, service or accommodation that is “reasonably necessary” for their “care, recovery or rehabilitation.” There is no monetary cap to this coverage and it is available for the entire life of the child for as long as their injury exists. The law provides this coverage to children, even if their parents failed to buy auto insurance.

But under Mayor Duggan’s plan, children whose parents buy D-Insurance will be locked out of the comprehensive medical coverage available to all other children in the state. D-Insurance children will only have $25,000 in coverage for medical treatment necessitated by an auto accident. Moreover, this $25,000 coverage has to be shared with all other family members injured in the same accident.

D-Insurance only provides $250,000 worth of coverage for medical treatment that is “necessary to save the individual’s life or treat life-threatening or permanently disabling injuries until the individual is stabilized.” It does not apply to any expense that is necessary for the person’s actual recovery and rehabilitation.

Detroit families who buy D-Insurance will also be robbed of their right under the Michigan No-Fault Law to choose their own medical providers without having to seek approval from their insurance company. When lives are on the line, families want the best treatment available for their loved ones, but D-Insurance will result in unacceptable delays in essential, time-sensitive care.

This legislation further allows insurance companies to sell this virtually worthless and Draconian insurance coverage with absolutely no guarantee that it will bring down auto insurance rates in Detroit by even a single penny.

Mayor Duggan’s legislation also allows the same type of abysmal insurance coverage to be sold in any other city in Michigan which demonstrates more than 35 percent of its motorists are uninsured. D-Insurance will inevitably spread throughout Michigan and will jeopardize the quality injury coverage Michigan has been proud to provide to catastrophically injured accident victims, especially children.

There is no question that Detroiters need relief from the unfair and unjust auto insurance rates they have no choice but to pay, but D-Insurance is a cut-rate policy that does more harm than good. Insurance companies should work together with the health care community to develop some common sense reforms. There is room for both sides to come together on imposing strong anti-fraud measures, streamlining claims processing, and fair cost-containment measures.

These reforms will reduce costs incurred by insurance companies and likely induce meaningful rate reduction by insurance companies to make coverage more affordable for all while ensuring that Michigan’s seriously injured accident victims have continued access to the quality care they need and deserve.

Dr. Owen Perlman is a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital-Ann Arbor.


Martha Levandowski, Administrative Director

In April 2011, Martha Levandowski took on the role of Administrative Director for the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault (CPAN). She has a broad background with over 30 years’ experience in business and marketing. After graduating from Western Michigan University, she began her career working for a multinational computer company, NCR, as an account manager where she exceeded sales expectations and was quickly promoted to world headquarters in an industry support and management trainee role. Since then, Martha has provided marketing, communications, and training support to business and institutional clients on behalf of several Michigan based companies, working with clients such as Meijer, Chrysler Financial, the State of Michigan, Michigan State University, Michigan Judicial Institute to name a few. For the 10 years prior to joining CPAN, Martha was responsible for marketing a 10-store supermarket chain, L&L Food Centers, where she planned and managed a million dollar marketing budget and oversaw all aspects of media production and placement, along with external media communications and public relations. Her public relations duties for the chain included planning and coordinating dozens of annual community events over the past decade, as well as fundraisers for local charities.

Throughout her career, Martha has been an active member of her church, school and community holding several board positions including Hospice of Lansing and Food Movers, part of the Greater Lansing Food Bank. She received the Michigan Parks and Recreation 2006 Community Service Award for her work with Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo, coordinating and hosting L&L Zoo Days for more than a decade.

Since joining CPAN, Martha has helped to facilitate the organization’s grass roots advocacy and community outreach. In addition to the daily operations of the organization, Martha is often seen representing the organization at various conferences and vendor exhibits, coordinating numerous town hall meetings across the state and delivering industry presentations. She works closely with CPAN’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors to ensure and promote the principles of the organization to uphold auto accident survivors’ rights to quality medical care and rehabilitation under the Michigan Auto No-Fault System.