Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my e-newsletter! As always, I am honored by the opportunity to represent you in Lansing and encourage you to stay up to date on what’s going on in Lansing, and continue to let me know of the issues you care about most.
In this Edition
- Auto Insurance
- Legislative update
- Water Town Hall
How I Voted this Week:
This week, the House and
Senate held a rare Friday session to debate and finalize auto insurance reform.
SB 1 (Sen. Nesbitt) aimed to reduce auto insurance rates and seized the opportunity to address this decades-old problem. I worked with the policy experts from both parties, fellow members, and my staff to ensure this bill would provide relief for Michiganders.
SB 1 adopted the same amendments I previously offered to HB 4397 such as:
- The inclusion of ZIP code, credit score, marital status, education level, home ownership, occupation and gender as non-driving factors.
- The removal of the tolling provision forcing insurance companies to approve or deny claims within a year of the original claim and prohibits them from deferring responses year after year.
As a member of the Select Committee to Reduce Auto Insurance rates, I listened to the testimony of stakeholders from every perspective of the industry. I am confident the bipartisan efforts of this legislation will bring about the relief the people desperately need and deserve.
SB 1 prohibit insurance companies from using several non-driving factors to calculate rates and removes the tolling provision and allows drivers to choose their own PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage.
The removal of the tolling provision forces insurance companies to approve or deny claims within a year of the original claim and prohibits them from deferring responses year after year. The current “file and use method” will be stricken and insurance companies seeking to raise rates can only do so upon approval of the director of Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), which is a department regulated by the Governor’s administration.
These changes will go into effect for policies written after July 2020.
*May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Show your support by using the hashtag #takeabiteoutoflyme on social media
This month Representative Eisen, Representative Kennedy, Representative Neely and I introduced an eight-bill package addressing Lyme Disease. The package includes:
- HCR 7: Recommends that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to protect the people of Michigan from Lyme disease by improving efforts to prevent, detect and treat the condition. (Rep. Whitsett)
- HB 4603: Mandates medical facilities to report Lyme disease cases in the same fashion veterinary offices currently do. (Rep. Eisen)
- HB 4604: Ensures Lyme disease treatment is covered under Medicare and Medicaid. (Rep. Whitsett)
- HB 4605: Gives physicians the power to administer high dose antibiotics as they see fit without administrative action. (Rep. Neely)
- HB 4606: Mandates Lyme disease testing when donating blood. (Rep. Hoitenga)
- HB 4607: Allows access to both forms of Lyme disease testing and information about possible complications.(Rep. Whitsett)
- HB 4608: Encourages the commissioner of health to work with health care providers and experts to develop a standard protocol process and patient notification of related symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis and other information relating to Lyme and tick-borne diseases. (Rep. Whitsett)
I will be hosting a townhall to offer resources on Assistance programs like the 10/30/50 Payment Plan and Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP). As well as guidance from representatives from the Detroit Water and Sewage Department including:
- Maintenance and repair team
- Drainage team
- Customer assurance service team
Mark your calendar for:
Friday. May 31 6-8 p.m. 3rd New Hope Church in Detroit.
“Success is liking yourself, what you do, and liking how you do it”
State Representative Karen Whitsett
9th House District