With the MCCA Withholding Information Crucial to No-Fault Debate, CPAN Sends FOIA Request to Dept. of Insurance and Financial Services Director
LANSING – The Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault submitted today a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Department of Insurance and Financial Services Director Kevin Clinton. The request seeks information that will help the public and lawmakers determine the financial sustainability of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA). The financial health of the MCCA has been used by the insurance industry to argue in favor of significant changes to Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance system that would be implemented under House Bill 4612.
“Director Clinton is a non-voting, ex-officio board member of the MCCA,” said CPAN President John Cornack. “He is also among the staunchest advocates of the insurance industry’s claims of MCCA financial distress and a supporter of HB 4612. We’re asking him to show us the documents needed to verify the accuracy and legitimacy of the insurance industry’s claims that this bill is necessary.”
Late last year, CPAN and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan won a lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court that would make MCCA documents publicly available. The MCCA has since appealed that ruling and the case is waiting to be heard in the Michigan Court of Appeals.
The documents requested of Director Clinton are exactly the same as those CPAN requested from the MCCA during the pending lawsuit. In determining which documents to request, CPAN consulted with former Missouri Insurance Commissioner and insurance regulation expert Jay Angoff.
“The MCCA includes financial reports on their website, but they do not provide the background information – the actuarial tables and economic assumptions – on which those reports are built,” said Angoff. “Without having access to the MCCA’s rate making data, it is impossible to determine whether the MCCA is in danger of becoming unsustainable and whether the MCCA has fairly calculated the per-car surcharges it levies.”
As a state department director, Mr. Clinton is subject to Michigan’s FOIA laws and should therefore be required to produce any records in his possession or accessible to him.
House Bill 4612, sponsored by Rep. Pete Lund (R-Shelby Township), imposes a $1 million lifetime cap on auto injury benefits; mandates government price controls on healthcare providers treating auto accident victims; and sets limits on attendant care, rehabilitation and other services provided to catastrophically injured accident victims.
CPAN estimates show that HB 4612 would significantly reduce the level of care provided to severely injured accident survivors. The bill would also result in millions of dollars in increased costs each year to the state Medicaid system, cost Michigan hospitals more than $180 million per year in unreimbursed costs and result in thousands of jobs lost in the post-acute injury rehabilitation field.
“The MCCA is the backbone of Michigan’s auto no-fault system, helping to care for thousands of catastrophically injured people every year. If the fund is truly unsustainable then it is in the public’s best interest to fix it. But our members don’t think it’s wise to accept these very significant cuts to the care provided to our state’s most severely injured people simply based on the insurance industry’s word,” said Cornack.
About the Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault: CPAN is a broad-based coalition of consumer advocate groups, lawyers, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers working together to keep Michigan’s model no-fault insurance law intact. Learn more about CPAN by visiting ProtectNoFault.org.
CPAN FOIA request to DIFS Director Kevin Clinton: http://www.cpan.us/docs/CPAN_05-21-13_FOIA_Letter_to_Kevin_Clinton.pdf
Previous CPAN FOIA request to the MCCA: www.cpan.us/docs/jay angoff affidavit and questions for MCCA.pdf