It has to work for everyone

Over my lifetime I’ve learned that if something can work for everyone involved it’s probably a good thing.  Getting “it” to work out for everyone is probably one of the problems we have with health insurance. . . . something that might work for the physicans maybe doesn’t work for hospitals or maybe something that works for consumers doesn’t work for the physicians.


In essence, the more moving parts and more constiutencies involved in a situation the more complicated the matters for those constituencies become. . . i.e. it is difficult to satisfy everyone.


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed a bill, namely State Senate Bill 268, which has de-regulated some parts of the Michigan preneed insurance regulations that will now provide a system that will work for everyone in the preneed realm.


What has happened is that the referenced bill repealed the requirement in Michigan that preneed death benefits grow by at least the Consumer Price Increase (CPI) each year.  From my point of view while that worked great for funeral homes (the guaranteed rates) and for the consumer (again the guaranteed rates), state funeral directors were finding less and less preneed insurance companies willing to operate in the state of Michigan because that “guaranteed rate increase” made profits difficult to come by and financial risk to the providers elevated.


So, the regulations were not working for everyone and by not doing so it became apparent that residents of the state of Michigan might possibly lose the option of purchasing preneed insurance for themselves.  To that end, there is a story of how the state of Michigan rallied around what was put together and called the “Michigan Preneed Coalition” to, in essence, save insurance funded preneed for the state.


Jon O’Hara, CEO of Great Lakes Partnership is the one most give credit for pulling this coalition together which included funeral homes, preplanning companies, insurance carriers, and the state association to lobby and bring the importance of having insurance funded preneed available to Michigan consumers.  There is no doubt that this force, created in some ways by competitors coming together, pulled some weight at the state capital.


We recently located this podcast where O’Hara gives his side of the story on how it got done.  Have a listen because when your state needs some legislation done it offers a blueprint of how to to just that.


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