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Are Health and Auto Insurance Connected?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Okay, back to the phones and we're gonna go to East Lansing, Michigan.  Got a lot of Michigan calls today.  Must be something in the trunk lines.  Here's Keith.  Great to have you, sir.  Hello.

CALLER:  It's an honor, Rush.  Thank you for taking my call today.

RUSH:  You bet, sir.

CALLER:  I am a route sales representative, and I work down in Jackson, Michigan.

RUSH:  What kind of sales, med sales, did you say?

CALLER:  A route sales representative for a salty snack company.

RUSH:  Route sales, okay.

CALLER:  Yes.

RUSH:  Gotcha.

CALLER:  I deal with a lot of convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, and things of that nature.  I've seen over the last eight months or so a lot of people complaining about their hours being cut down to 30 hours or under.  Well, I ran into a woman this morning that brought something to my attention.  Her hours were cut severely a few months back, and it was time for her to renew her automobile insurance, and because she now does not have health care, her premiums went up $500 every six months because she does not currently have any automobile insurance.

RUSH:  Wait, wait, wait, wait.  Hold on here just a second.  I have questions for you.

CALLER:  Yes, sir.

RUSH:  First off, this woman who's had her hours cut, does she know why?

CALLER:  Yes.  Because of the current health care act her employers are cutting down as many full-timers as they can.

RUSH:  Okay, I just want to make sure she's not blaming the boss. She knows it's Obamacare that is making it sensible for her boss to convert people to part time?

CALLER:  Correct.

RUSH:  Okay.  Secondly.

CALLER:  During the course of that, you know, going from full time down to part time now, she no longer has health insurance, and it was time for her to renew her automobile premium, and she came to me and said it went up because I no longer have health insurance. I find that believable.

RUSH:  Wait.  It may be, but it's a newbie.  This one I've not heard.  So she was faced with a $500, what, a year increase in her auto insurance because she doesn't have health insurance?

CALLER:  That's correct. And I believe that the two are tied together. You get a better automobile rate if you have health insurance versus if you do not.

RUSH:  I guess that makes sense.  Gee, I wonder if my auto insurance would come down if I went out and got health insurance.  'Cause I don't have any.

CALLER:  See, that's another thing. If someone picks the exchange and they pick the lower end insurance and it doesn't jibe with their automobile insurance they might end up getting socked with their automobile insurance as well.

RUSH:  I had not even thought of this.  This is the first I've heard of this.

CALLER:  And I don't know if it's just my state here in Michigan, but that's something that I found kind of alarming that I don't think a lot of people thought too much about.

RUSH:  Well, we don't know if it's universal or somehow just applies to this one woman that you were talking to. Have you heard this from anybody else?

CALLER:  I heard two other people talking about it as well.  The only person I got clarification from was her and as to why, and she specifically said because she lost her health care insurance.

RUSH:  Okay.  So does she have the money to pay the new additional auto insurance premium?

CALLER:  I believe she had to borrow it from her mother.  And she did pick up a second job recently so now she's working two jobs.

RUSH:  Two jobs, lost her health care, auto insurance premium up by $500.

CALLER:  Correct.

RUSH:  What would be the correlation there?  Your auto insurance premium goes up because you don't have health insurance, somehow obviously would tie in the fact that if you're in an accident --

CALLER:  Correct.

RUSH:  -- you're not gonna get --

CALLER:  Yes.  If you don't have health insurance coverage when you --

RUSH:  I just never heard of that.  Is this another thing you guys are gonna laugh at me in there?  Yeah, I was gonna say, I've not heard of this before.  I'm just wondering, am I out of touch again?  Am I facing that accusation for not having heard about this one?  You're not gonna sit here and say, "Oh, yeah, Rush, all of us out here, we know that. If we lose our health care our auto goes up."  You're not gonna tell me that?  All right, good.  Well, I appreciate the call, Keith.  Thanks much.  I'm sure we'll dig more into this. We'll find out more about this.  I'm hesitating.  I'm trying to figure out the logic from the insurance company standpoint of why that would automatically happen, lose your health insurance, your auto premium goes up.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

Here's Tony in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Hi, Tony.  Great to have you here.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hello, Rush.  Honor to talk with you.  God bless you.

RUSH:  Thank you very much, sir.

CALLER:  I'm calling in regards to the gentleman who called from East Lansing about the young lady whose car insurance went up because she didn't have health insurance. We in the state of Michigan, because of our liberal and compassionate state government, has passed a no fault insurance type of car insurance.  The way our state is arranged is that if two or three people, four people get into an auto accident, if one person has coverage and the others don't, all the other people can sue your auto company for their health benefits.

RUSH:  A-ha.

CALLER:  And there is an unlimited amount.  So, in other words, if you're applying for auto insurance, and you don't have health insurance to go along with it, your rates are gonna skyrocket --

RUSH:  Yep.

CALLER:  -- which now, because of Obamacare, obviously that's gonna become more problematic.

RUSH:  Yeah, well, that's something. I had not heard of this prior to today.  Now, you guys on the other side of the glass, this is news to you, too, right?  I'm really sensitive to the out-of-touch charge.  I'd not heard of this until today and I had not thought of it.  Now, the way you explain it makes total sense, obviously.

CALLER:  Yeah.

RUSH:  And it's probably true of many states, not just Michigan.

CALLER:  That's probably true.

RUSH:  We've been inundated with calls from Michigan today.  I don't know how that happened.  It just worked out.  Glad it did for you.  But I'm sure it's gotta be something that is true from state to state.  But let's not presume that.  Let's just leave it in Michigan because that's what we know.  Look at all the people that are being downsized from full time to part time because their companies can't stay in business and provide all the full-timers insurance.  They have to convert some of them to part time so as not to have to provide health insurance. So they keep their job, reduced hours, lose their health care.  They still drive, still have auto insurance.  Look at the number of people who are waiting for their own October Surprise to find out their auto insurance is gonna skyrocket because they lose their health insurance.  

END TRANSCRIPT

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