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Hundreds of crash survivors protest upcoming changes to auto no-fault

Capitol We Cant Wait
Posted at 7:04 AM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 07:04:09-04

LANSING, Mich — Hundreds of people gathered at the state capitol Wednesday in an effort to urge lawmakers to take action on bills that would address certain upcoming changes to Michigan's auto no-fault law.

Survivors of catastrophic auto injuries, their families, friends, and the people who own and work at medical care providers that say they won't be able to survive the slash in reimbursement for certain post-acute medical care, have been planning the rally in front of the capitol for several weeks now.

It follows months of grassroots advocacy work lead by a group of families that organize in a Facebook group called We Can't Wait.

The group mostly consists of family members worried that their loved ones will lose access to quality medical care come July 2, when the next portion of Michigan's auto no-fault reform bill goes into effect.

The changes would include slashed reimbursement rates for businesses providing post-acute medical care to crash survivors, as well as caps the number of hours that family members can be reimbursed for providing care.

Those medical care services that are not compensable under the federal medicare law, will only be reimbursed by insurance companies by 55% of what they were being reimbursed in January of 2019 when the bill was first signed into law.

Advocates are urging lawmakers to take action on Senate Bill 314 and House Bill 4486, two bills already sitting in the state legislature that would provide a narrow fix to these potentially disastrous medical fee schedule changes.

A group of mothers from the We Can't Wait group signed a letter to Governor Whitmer this week requesting a meeting to discuss the impending changes and possible fixes.

Governor Whitmer was asked about her position on addressing the fee schedules at a press conference on Tuesday.

She responded saying, "I'll just say that I have indicated to the legislative leadership that I am open to having a conversation around narrowly addressing some of the rate issues. I know that some have suggested maybe they pause before these go into effect, and have that conversation to determine if there's something that makes sense here."

"I've not gotten indication yet that there's interest in doing that, but that is something that I'm open to. I'm concerned about it as well."

In addition to the families gathering at the capitol Wednesday, 73 current and former lawmakers also plan to hold an afternoon press conference to explain that they "didn't intend for 2019 auto insurance law to be applied retroactively".

Timeline of Events

WATCH: 'We're Paying the Price with Our Lives'
FOX 17's Special Report on Potentially Devastating Impact Auto No-Fault Reform Could Have on families

May 24, 2019Gov Whitmer & GOP Reach Deal
May 17, 2021 No-Fault Reform Could Have Devastating Impact
May 17, 2021 - Attorney files lawsuit challenging ‘constitutionality’ of new no-fault law
May 21, 2021 - As July deadline looms, advocates say auto industry executives refused to discuss no-fault reforms
May 25, 2021 MI Democrats Urge Action on SB 314 & HB 4486
May 26, 2021Families Gather at Capitol to Urge Action
June 2, 2021FOX 17 Special In-Depth Report