Today’s News: U.S. Health Care Underperforms, Credit Scores Approved to Determine Insurance Rates and Wisconsin Mandatory Insurance Grace Period Near End

A report released in June revealed that the United States health care system underperforms compared to many industrialized nations, a court has ruled that credit scores are allowed when insurance companies determine rates and Wisconsin is nearing the end of a grace period allowing vehicle owners to drive without mandatory auto insurance.

U.S. Health Care Underperforms

A report released by the Commonwealth Fund, which is a private foundation focused on health, found that while the U.S. offers the costliest health care in the world, it underperforms many other industrialized nations. According to the report, the medical care systems of Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and Australia are all superior to the United States’ system. Currently, the system ranks “last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system” including quality, access, efficiency, equity and health lives. However, the study noted that health care reform and new guidelines for health insurance should help to address the problems (AFP).

Credit Scores Approved to Determine Insurance Rates

The Michigan Supreme Court determined that insurance companies can use a person’s credit report to determine rates after deciding that state regulators had exceeded their authority by banning the practice. The battle to ban credit scoring use when determining insurance rates has been ongoing since 2005 and reached the Supreme Court last October. Many have said that the use of credit reports when determining auto insurance rates, unfairly targeted specific demographics for higher premiums. But in a 4-3 ruling, the Michigan law will now allow for those with better credit scores to receive lower insurance rates (Associated Press).

Wisconsin Mandatory Insurance Grace Period Near End

On June 1, 2010, Wisconsin became the 49th state to require mandatory liability auto insurance coverage for all drivers. And now, law enforcement is announcing that the grace period to acquire this mandatory coverage is coming to an end. While the specific deadline has not yet been set, police in the state are expected to begin penalizing drivers who do not yet carry coverage. Currently, drivers are required to carry $50,000 for bodily injury or death of one person, $100,000 for two or more people and $15,000 for injury or destruction of property. The penalty for not having at least liability insurance could cost up to $500 (WBAY).