A revised version of Senate Bill 248 recently passed the House Insurance Committee and is headed for a vote in the House of Representatives early next week. If the bill passes it will not only be detrimental to healthcare workers but all victims involved in Michigan automobile accidents.
Michigan is a no-fault state which means victims involved in a motor vehicle accident who suffer injuries as a result of the incident are entitled to receive no-fault benefits from their insurance companies. No-fault benefits can include payment of medical expenses and treatment, attendant care (in-home nursing care), income from lost wages and more.
The no-fault system is very important to survivors and their families. Even more important for those who suffer life-changing injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, because those who require around the clock care or care for their entire lifetime are entitled to receive such benefits under the current Michigan no-fault law.
However, if the Senate Bill 248 does pass, there is no guarantee that a person injured will be protected from the insurance companies who fail to provide no-fault benefits in cases where they are warranted. In addition, the Michigan Senate Bill 248 will reduce benefits catastrophically injured victims can receive, reduce reimbursements to medical providers and place a cap on the hourly rate paid to family members who care for their loved ones at home, as well as how many hours they can receive a week.
Every auto accident case is different and therefore the amount of care needed for an injured victim will differ.
Traumatic and catastrophic injuries vary from person to person and the ability to function independently is at issue. A closed head injury can be mild to severe, leaving an individual unable to cope in the work force and even care for their own basic needs. Severe spinal cord or orthopedic issues can result in paralysis, multiple surgeries, and even loss of limbs. Changes to bill could be devastating to victims and their families as the bill does not take into account the type of care and amount of care a person may need.
So why is there this push to pass this bill? The Insurance Institute of Michigan (IIM) says the proposed bill was created to reduce “excessive fees’ the automobile insurance industries pay to auto accident victims and medical providers in hopes to reduce fraud. However the way the bill is presented, it only protects the insurance companies, not the consumer against the insurance companies. Therefore, this legislation benefits insurance companies and does not protect us.
Your action is needed today to ensure your right to quality care is not denied! The bill has been rushed to the floor rapidly and contains no assurance of sustainable reductions in the insurance premiums as well as no confirmation that fraudulent denials by the insurance company will be stopped. Simply put, this bill gives the insurance companies more power and more profits at the expense of catastrophically injured. Help put a stop to this bill and write a letter to your representative today. As a resource, the Brain Injury Association of Michigan has created a template you can use to send a letter directly to your representative.Click here to view the template and send your letter now.
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