LANSING, Mich., May 26, 2021 — House Democrats hosted a virtual press conference today to discuss the need to update our auto insurance laws before a looming July 1 deadline, when thousands of patients could lose critical care for injuries suffered in auto accidents.
“No one wants to receive that call to come to the emergency room because their loved one was involved in a catastrophic traffic accident. I know that devastation firsthand, and unfortunately, I went through it twice,” said state Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac). “My sons Christopher and Bryan both passed away from devastating head injuries from traffic accidents. For those fortunate enough to survive, navigating the cost of rehabilitation can be scary, emotionally draining and confusing. Due to a loophole in our auto insurance laws, previously guaranteed benefits for those with catastrophic injuries are in jeopardy on July 1.”
“As a physical therapist for more than 20 years, I have heard thousands of personal stories from my patients. Unfortunately, I have also witnessed the detrimental effects caused by a lack of health care access,” said state Rep. Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo). “Ensuring access to health care is what called me to public service. However, as we approach July 1, the looming loss of health care coverage becomes excruciatingly more real for thousands of Michiganders.”
Beginning July 1, health care providers will be reimbursed at only 55% of the rate they currently charge for care and treatment. House Democrats are calling for a cost-neutral solution that requires insurers to pay non-hospital caregivers up to 200% of the Medicare Approximation, bringing this in line with the rule for hospital treatment.
“On July 1, many seriously injured patients will have no place to go. That’s only about five weeks away. We can’t take a ‘wait and see’ approach with people’s lives. We need action now,” said House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “By cutting medical reimbursements for providers at a flat 45% across the board, current law would reward those who were overcharging and punish those who charged fair rates. This is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. This is a human issue. We passed auto insurance reform in a bipartisan manner. We should pass this simple fix in a bipartisan manner as well.”
# # #