Auto Law Changes July 1 Will Change Disaster Care
Further changes to Michigan no-fault auto insurance take effect July 1st, and many victims of catastrophic accidents could see dramatic changes in the care they receive.
Michigan Auto Law’s Todd Berg was a guest on 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins and said the law, amended in 2019, could see healthcare facility reimbursement rates cut by more than half.
Michigan drivers were paying the highest rates in the country for auto insurance, and insurance companies were pushing for reform as well, and then all of a sudden the new law was passed. “It went like lightning, and when people describe it as a historic and major overhaul of the law, it’s no exaggeration,” Berg said. “It changed everything.”
But maybe not for the best, says Berg. “The sad thing is that despite all the talk and all the hype and promises about this new bill, we are still in the top tier in terms of auto insurance premiums, where, according to www.zebra.com, we are still # 2.
Even though premiums have fallen an average of 18.41% from 2020 to 2021, Michigan’s average monthly rate of $ 211 is the highest in the country.
“It seems like an epic failure in terms of the bill itself, because that was the whole point,” Berg said. “To achieve the level of savings associated with this bill by the lawmakers who supported it, you have to sacrifice coverage. For example, there is a lot of talk about how there is a 45% saving for a tranche under this new law. But to get that, you don’t get the same coverage you’ve had for 20 years, you don’t get unlimited medical care, and a 45% savings. You only get 45% savings if you are willing to go from an unlimited limit to a limit of $ 50,000 and are ready to use Medicaid. Berg said $ 50,000 doesn’t go far to the emergency room.
But what happens afterwards is of great concern to many, with the change in pricing schedules taking effect on July 1.st. “A lot of medical and especially rehabilitation providers for spinal cord injury and head injury victims are going to see a 45% reduction in the amount they can charge for the very valuable and necessary services they provide. On the books, but they’ll only get 55% of that without fail, even though they still have to provide the same amount of service and the same quality of care.
Berg says it’s going to be devastating for these companies and ultimately the people who will suffer the most are the auto accident victims who need that kind of care.
One of those victims is Danny Oleksa from Battle Creek. “Danny was a bright and active 11-year-old when he was involved in a devastating car crash in 2003. Today, Danny receives round-the-clock care,” said Laurie, Danny’s mother. “The flawless system allowed Danny to live at home and stay out of the hospital, but I couldn’t understand my life if I had to provide him with 24/7 care. there is no way I could give him what his nurses provide, his health would decline dramatically. “
Another victim, Dominique Jones, a native of Battle Creek who currently lives in a small group home in Mason, faces the loss of his residence and necessary rehabilitation services. “A few months after graduating from high school in Battle Creek, I was hit by a semi-truck while riding my bike. At first the paramedics at the scene covered my body with a blanket because they thought I was dead, ”Jones said. “Today, the 24/7 support I receive has allowed me to live more independently. Without a solution to the new law’s fee structure, I fear losing this progress and the help I need. I would lose my job, my access to specialized services, I would be displaced from my residence and my mental health would deteriorate.
Part of the reason for Michigan’s auto insurance overhaul was based on complaints from insurance companies that some medical services were overcharging them while no-fault payment paid off. The no-fault bill could be $ 3,000 while Medicare was billed $ 800 for the same. But Berg says “No evidence has been put forward to show that they were actually guilty of overcharging. Inexplicably, they are now subjected to that 45% flash in their ability to charge, and that means, from the point of view of a victim, that their purchasing power is now half of what it used to be. You are going to have a lot of suppliers who will no longer be able to keep their doors open because they cannot charge what is needed for them. services they provide.
Berg says there are bills in the Michigan House and Senate that wouldn’t solve the problem, but might help it. But he says there has been no movement on these bills.
Berg’s advice? If you can afford to keep unlimited coverage, do so. If you can afford to buy extra liability, so do that. “If you have an accident with someone who doesn’t have unlimited coverage and you are even partially at fault, you may have to take care of them. “
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