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Detroit Mayor Duggan’s D-Insurance Plan is no good for Detroiters


Detroit Mayor Mike DugganDetroit Mayor Mike Duggan has proposed an insurance plan aimed at saving Detroiters money on their car insurance, which is among the highest in the nation.

But under his “D-Insurance” plan, Detroiters would lose far more No Fault insurance benefits and important legal protections than they stand to gain in savings. As an auto accident attorney, I definitely understand Mayor Duggan’s purpose, which is to retain Detroiters and protect them with No Fault insurance, especially the low-income residents that must choose between putting food on the table and insuring their cars.

But this is not the way to do it.

Below are my reasons why the D-Insurance plan would be detrimental to Detroit drivers:

  • $25,000 No Fault cap: For all No Fault medical care, wage loss AND replacement services – combined.
  • Managed care – No choosing your own doctors: Auto accident victims would no longer be able to choose their own doctors. Instead, they would be required to see a doctor in their insurer’s “limited provider network.” These doctors will have every incentive to keep people within the $25,000 medical No Fault cap, as it now works in the workers compensation system.
  • Pre-authorization based on necessity: The D-Insurance plan would require “preauthorization” for medical treatment and care based on what the insurer determines is a “medical necessity.” This is an incredibly high threshold, and in reality it means critical medical treatment can now easily be refused.
  • No guarantee of long-term savings: Even though savings have been “promised,” none are guaranteed by Duggan’s D-Insurance plan.


On June 3, 2015, the Senate Insurance Committee approved the Motor City mayor’s “D-Insurance Proposal” and recommended its passage by the full Michigan Senate. The D-Insurance Plan, which is identified as the “Substitute for Senate Bill No. 288” or “S-3,” is a substitute for Senate Bill 288.

For more information, take a look at my blog post on the top 8 problems with Mayor Duggan’s D-Insurance plan.


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  1. Tom Shields says:
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    This opinion piece is flat out wrong. The Mayor’s “D” insurance plan provides $275,000 in medical insurance for auto accident patients. It would probably cover all the medical care for more than 95% of all drivers who have the coverage. That is a lot better than 0% coverage fro drivers who cannot afford unlimited coverage.

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    With all due respect, what’s “flat out wrong” is the D-Insurance Plan’s proposal to recklessly and irresponsibly limit Michigan auto accident victims to an unrealistic $25,000 cap on all of their non-“critical” or “poststabilization” medical-care expenses, wage loss and replacement services.

    The $250,000 of the $275,000 you mention only applies to “critical care” expenses, i.e., the medical care provided at the ER or the trauma center BEFORE the auto accident victim has been “stabilized” and can, thus, be “safely … discharged or transferred to another acute care hospital or trauma center or to a rehabilitation or other facility …” Once an auto accident victim has been “stabilized,” the $250,000 in “critical care” coverage terminates, leaving the victim with only $25,000 to cover all of the No Fault benefits he or she will need in the days, months and years to come, including, but not limited to doctor visits, diagnostic testing, surgeries, injections, physical and occupational therapy, attendant care, home- and vehicle-modifications and lost wages.

    And, not only must an auto accident victim contend with the limited coverage for his or her medical care expenses, but he or she may also be denied his or her choice of doctor. To add insult to injury, through a “written preauthorization” requirement, under the D-Insurance Plan auto insurance companies will get to play doctor by denying medical services for auto accident victims based on the auto insurers’ determination of what is a “medical necessity.”

    As for your final point about “afford[ing] unlimited coverage,” the savings that consumers may receive from the D-Insurance Plan will be relatively little – and, in most cases, woefully inadequate in light of the benefits and protections consumers will be forced to sacrifice under the D-Insurance Plan. As I noted in my recent blog post, “Why Mayor Duggan’s D-Insurance plan will further drive Detroiters out of the Motor City”: “In his written testimony before the Senate Insurance Committee on May 26, 2015, Mayor Duggan stated that the ‘average Detroiter’s annual car insurance is $3,400’ and the ‘average for surrounding communities is $1,700.’ This means that even if D-Insurance could generate Duggan’s anticipated ‘$1,000 savings for many Detroiters,’ they’d still be paying $2,400 for car insurance. That is still $700 more than the ‘surrounding communities.’” http://www.michiganautolaw.com/blog/2015/06/10/duggan-d-insurance-plan-drive-detroiters-out/

    I applaud Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s intentions in proposing the D-Insurance Plan, but, to borrow your expression, the effects of that plan will be “flat out wrong” for Detroiters.