LANSING, Mich. — State Rep. Phil Green introduced HB 5698 late Tuesday evening with 56 cosponsors. The bill aims to apply a narrow fix to the new medical-fee schedule that Michigan's no-fault auto reform law introduced after being signed into law in 2019.
Michigan legislators signed the no-fault auto law reform bill into law back in 2019, aimed at lowering the state's consistently high insurance rates.
Rates in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, though, have gone up 5%.
Advocates for survivors of catastrophic auto crashes say the new law, in many cases, has made it extremely difficult to find the medical services they need to survive.
Under the new law, which took effect on July 2, any medical service not already covered under our federal Medicare law, which includes in-home caregivers and transportation to medical services, will now only be reimbursed by insurance companies at 55% of what they were back in 2019. The law also caps the number of hours that family members can provide care to just 56 hours a week.
Representative Green's bill would push that number up to 112 hours a week.
There are roughly 18,000 Michiganders currently receiving medical benefits from their auto no-fault policies.
Martha Levandowski, the administrative director of CPAN, an organization focused on preserving Michigan's auto no-fault system, told FOX 17 recently that they have confirmed at least five crash survivors who have died since the changes went into effect.
These individuals allegedly deteriorated after losing some access to care.
349 care providers in the state participated in the survey — those providers are serving 16,753 crash survivors, and representing 16,296 medical-care employees.
1,548 crash survivors have lost access to care since the most recent portion of the no-fault reform went into effect in July of 2021.
3,049 medical-care employees have lost their jobs.
96 care companies say they are no longer able to accept patients with auto no-fault insurance benefits, while 140 said they have had to "significantly reduce" their services.
21 care companies have had to completely shut down.
You can read more about HB 5698 and follow along with it's progress HERE.
FOX 17's Coverage of No-Fault Auto Reform Care Crisis
May 17, 2021 — New Law Could Have Devastating Consequences
June 2, 2021 — "We're Paying the Price With Our Lives": FOX 17 Extended Coverage
June 9, 2021 — Hundreds of Survivors Protest at Capitol
June 10, 2021 — Rep. Berman Introduces Bill to Prevent Cuts
June 23, 2021 — Advocates Rally Again at Capitol
June 26, 2021 — House Approves $10M Fund
June 30, 2021 — Advocates Say $25M Isn't Enough
July 7, 2021 — Family Scared to Lose Caregivers
July 23, 2021 — Providers Begin Closing their Doors
Aug. 4, 2021 — Patients Continue to Lose Care
Sept. 24, 2021 — Changes Causing Chaos for Survivors
Sept. 27, 2021 — 'We Can't Wait' ArtPrize Entry Highlights Care Crisis
Oct. 4, 2021 — Protest Outside Business of SML Shirkey
Oct. 14, 2021 — Some Insurers Not Following Intent of Law
Oct. 27, 2021 — New Round of Bills Announced
Jan. 11, 2022— Report Says No Fault Reform Created Crisis of Care