LANSING, Mich. — Advocates are continuing to push the Michigan legislature to fix no-fault reforms before services are cut in July.
Members of the We Can’t Wait group held a virtual press conference, parked a large banner outside the Capitol building, and have begun a letter-writing campaign to encourage lawmakers to pass legislation that would fix a 2019 auto insurance law.
In the insurance law, legislators included a fee schedule that will take effect July 1, 2021, that takes funding away from specialized rehabilitation services.
The new fee schedule would only cover rehab services that have been assigned codes by the U.S Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In hospitals, those fees are generally covered by Medicare which means the biggest impact is on specialized rehabilitation programs, which often do not take place in hospitals.
- Summary of SB 314 and HB 4486 from the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council
- Michigan's no-fault reform could hurt those who need rehabilitation; advocates push for fix
The change would drastically alter the cost and accessibility of care for people who have suffered a catastrophic auto accident. Advocates are determined to amend the law because some specialized providers have already announced plans to close their doors.
“This is a catastrophic market-changing decrease and is well beyond Aspire’s ability to absorb as a functioning company. Although we have fought hard and long against these changes that will cut company revenue nearly in half, have looked at every option, and have run every reasonable scenario, and we cannot find a way forward under this new law,” wrote Aspire Rehabilitation Services in a letter to its clients on April 29.
The Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council estimates that at least 5,000 jobs within the rehabilitation field will be lost if the 2019 legislation is allowed to take effect.
“Long-term care providers like Aspire do not just provide care to car crash survivors, but to others in the disability community like seniors, veterans, and persons with other serious injuries. The loss of these services will impact far more than auto injury patients,” said Aspire Director Dr. Randall Bruce.
Legislation that would fix the upcoming fee schedule, called SB 314, is currently in committee in the Michigan Senate.
Michigan drivers do spend more money on average on car insurance than in other states specifically because of no-fault laws and fees to the Michigan Catastrophic Claim Association. Opponents of the bill argue that the new fee schedule would save Michigan drivers a lot of money on insurance.
WE CAN'T WAIT RECENT PRESS CONFERENCE
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