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'Look at the facts and act': 2nd report on impact of No-Fault law changes is released

Report is the 2nd survey conducted by the Michigan Public Health and commissioned by the Brain Injury Association of Michigan
Laurie Oleksa
Posted at 5:53 PM, Aug 11, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — A survey released Thursday is shedding more light on the impact that changes to Michigan's No-Fault Auto law have had on medical providers and the patients they serve.

This is the second survey conducted by the Michigan Public Health and commissioned by the Brain Injury Association of Michigan.

“The purpose of the survey is to track the long-term deterioration of care that is occurring right now" said Tom Constand, president and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan.

“It's a crisis of care, and it has to stop.”

While the law was aimed at lowering the state's sky high car insurance rates, it has also impacted the care existing crash survivors have been able to access.

According to CPAN, a group focused on preserving our previous no fault auto system, there have been at least eight people who have died since the changes went into effect, because of losing access to some care.

Under the new law, which took effect on July 2, 2021, 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.

There are roughly 18,000 Michiganders currently receiving medical benefits from their auto no-fault policies.

According to the new report released Thursday, 6,857 crash survivors have been discharged from local care providers, and 4,082 health care workers have lost their jobs.

They found that 10 care companies have had to close their doors completely since the changes took effect, while 14 more companies expect to close in the next 12 months.

You can see what they found during their first survey at this link HERE.

The changes are impacting people such as Laurie Oleksa's 31-year-old son Danny.

“As of June 30 of 2021, we had full staff. We had nurses that had been with us since he left the hospital in ’04,” she said Thursday.

The company that was providing Danny's in-home caregivers prior to June 2021 let them go after the changes took effect. They were then temporarily picked up by another company that was trying to help them out.

She is currently going back and forth with a company based out of Livonia, desperate to find caregivers for her son.

For now, she is taking care of her son 24 hours a day, all on her own.

"So, I usually am able to lay down at about 11:30, lay down till 12:30 when I need to get up and catheter him, lay back down around 1:00, get back up around 2:15, lay back down at 2:45, get back up at 4:20,” she explained.

It's been like this since July 27.

The hope is for lawmakers in Lansing to pass legislation that will guarantee the care they were promised when they purchased and paid for their insurance.

Until then, advocates believe the situation will only get worse.

"We urge the legislators to do something... We urge legislative leadership to listen to look at the facts and act," Constand said Thursday.

"And finally, we encourage the Governor to do the same.”

FOX 17 received the following statement from Erin McDonough, the executive director of the Insurance Alliance of Michigan, after the report was released:

“The latest pseudo-survey bought and paid for by the Brain Injury Association of Michigan isn’t a fair representation of all the Michigan providers providing care to long-term care patients, which its own survey acknowledges. There is data from the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services that shows a small number of individuals have reported issues with their care and current open complaints only total 12.

The bipartisan auto no-fault reforms reined in costs and lowered premiums, the market is adjusting and IAM member companies remain focused on working to ensure medically necessary care is continued.”

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
July 1, 2022 — 1 Year Under the New Auto No-Fault Law

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