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'We're at the 11th hour here': House OK's $10M for care providers as no-fault auto changes loom

The fund aims to keep care providers across the state open & serving their clients after dozens have announced they will have to close as the next portion of Michigan's no-fault auto reform takes effect
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Posted at 4:25 PM, Jun 25, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — After months of advocacy work, there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel for survivors of catastrophic auto crashes who depend on no-fault auto insurance benefits for their medical care.

Thousands of families have expressed their concern over two particular pieces of Michigan's no-fault auto reform law signed back in 2019 that they say have the potential to seriously limit their access to quality medical care.

On Thursday, Michigan's House approved $10 million to be used to help support care providers that will be facing massive cuts to reimbursements for care they provide to crash survivors.

RELATED: Michigan lawmaker presents bill to prevent reimbursement cuts to no-fault auto law

On July 2, the next portion of the law goes into effect with two items that have advocates worried— a 45% reduction in the amount insurance companies will reimburse local care providers for any care that isn't covered under our federal medicare act, and a 56 hour a week cap on family members providing care.

The $10 million, if approved by the Senate, will be dispensed on a first-come, first-served basis by the state's department of insurance and financial services. Providers will have to provide evidence of their losses.

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

There are currently three bills languishing in committee that were introduced to provide a narrow fix to these medical fee schedule changes— SB 314, HB 4486, and HB 4992.

Representative Julie Rogers introduced yet another bill on Wednesday that would delay these two particular changes from taking effect by 1 year.

“It's very simple. I didn't want to make it convoluted and complicated. It literally delays implementation of that fee schedule cut, as well as the 56-hour cap on families for providing care for their loved ones. It just delays that for one year,” Rep. Rogers told FOX 17.

RELATED: Lawmakers file brief in lawsuit over upcoming no-fault auto changes

“If this would be taken up and voted on in the next week, then we would have more time in the fall to kind of really hone down on policy and get it done correctly.”

Rogers' bill, HB 5125, also has the support of the Michigan Brain Injury Council Provider Council.

Tom Judd, president of the MBIPC, told FOX 17, "This bill provides that relief for providers to take a breath, continue their operations as normal, continue the quality services that the patients need in their programs and in their own homes, and it gives the legislature that time to work with providers, work with the insurers, to figure out a long-term solution in a bipartisan manner.”

MORE: Families terrified no-fault auto reform will destroy access to care