But the law also cut by 45 percent the amount health care providers can charge to reimburse survivors for services not covered by Medicare — a change supporters say prevents patients from accessing high-quality care.
On the subject:
In total, 4,082 healthcare worker jobs have been cut since 2021, and 6,857 accident patients have been cut from care since the policy took effect. research The Michigan Institute of Public Health found.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told Bridge Michigan that she expects conversations about ways to adjust the law could begin early next year.
“There’s work to be done here so that people who have been injured can get the support they’ve paid for,” Whitmer told Bridge Michigan. “I’m interested in that.”
Until 2020, Michigan was the only state where drivers were required to pay for comprehensive personal injury insurance. This became optional after the new law came into force and drivers are now allowed to choose different levels of cover.
The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association — an industry nonprofit that collects annual fees from Michigan motorists to cover medical care for accident victims — has reduced its fees and issued $400 per vehicle reimbursement checks to Michigan drivers at Whitmer’s request after 2019. the right
The association recently raised its new annual car ratings to a level $48 minimum per vehicle per year, after a a recent appellate court decision that found that patients who began receiving auto injury care before the 2019 law passed were not subject to the changes. This decision is under cassation procedure.
While reform advocates say the ruling eased some of the pressure, they are still pushing for changes to the law to ensure future victims don’t face the same problems.
“What we’re really looking for is a legislative solution that will make all of this moot and we can just go back to restoring continuity of care for accident victims,” said Tom Judd, president of the Michigan Brain Injury Council.
Rep. Julie Rogers, D-Kalamazoo, is a physical therapist who has worked with people who have suffered catastrophic injuries and is a longtime supporter of the payment schedule adjustment legislation outlined in the 2019 law.
She said lawmakers feel an urgent need to overhaul the law, even though Democrats are likely to have a busy agenda taking over after 40 years without control of both chambers of the Legislature.
“No-fault car issues are life and death,” Rogers said. “For me, that makes it really top of the list of things to fix.”
Supporters of the existing law say the changes were a difficult but necessary trade-off to keep costs down.
In a statement provided by Bridge Michigan, Insurance Alliance of Michigan Director Erin McDonough said the 2019 reforms have made insurance more affordable for tens of thousands of drivers and mean Michigan is no longer the most expensive state to purchase auto insurance.
Getting auto accident victims the medical care they need remains a priority for insurers, McDonagh said, adding that the 2019 law was Michigan’s first attempt to create a system of checks and balances for medical costs.
“We are calling for a broader view to ensure that savings for Michigan consumers remain protected as the Legislature and governor pursue any reform assessment,” she said.
If Whitmer and future lawmakers can come up with a solution that changes the law without hurting savings, current House Speaker Jason Wentworth said he has no problem — but none of the plans that have been released so far would do that. he said.
He does not plan to raise the issue during the legislative session before the new term begins next year.
“If there’s a sweet spot to fix a perceived problem that exists, I’ve been willing to look at it from day one,” said Clare, a Republican. “I’ve never been presented with a plan that actually fixes this and preserves savings. And so if they can handle the next term, then great.”
William Brooke, an Erie Republican-elect whose home care business had two clients affected by the policy change, said one of his priorities was to find ways to fix the legislation, which was “well-intentioned” but negatively affects businesses and residents.
The 2019 law “has had good results in that more people now have auto insurance, but it has also had some adverse effects,” he said.
“We don’t do a lot of auto repairs, but we had two clients in particular that their rates were reduced by almost 60 percent, and so that didn’t allow us to take care of them,” he said. “We’re not alone in this… I’m certainly willing to look into it.”