By Mike Kruzman /

Several state legislators and stakeholders came together to discuss further needed reform to Michigan’s no-fault insurance laws and the crisis of care that it has caused.

During his February virtual coffee hour event, Republican State Representative Bob Bezotte of Marion Township was joined by fellow lawmakers from the both sides of the aisle, along with leaders from home health care organizations and community advocates. On everyone’s mind was the topic of recent reforms to Michigan’s no-fault laws, and particularly, what was called one “unintended consequence.”

Beginning in 2019, changes went into effect that gave drivers options on levels of PIP coverage. Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association fees have been reduced for drivers who kept unlimited coverage and eliminated for those with lesser coverage. Due to a MCCA surplus that grew from $2.4-billion to $5-billion, largely from cost savings, those with unlimited coverage as of last October 31st are set to receive a $400 rebate per vehicle this year.

Most of the coffee hour’s discussion was centered around the 45% reduction in reimbursement fees to health care providers caring for people in a catastrophic crash from insurance providers that went into effect last year. State Representative Ryan Berman is in his second term and said that while he was proud to have voted for the reform in his first term, he knew it would need tweaking to avoid a situation like this, but that tweaking didn’t happen, in part due to COVID. Berman expressed a disappointment in leadership.

Bob Mlynarek of 1st Call Home Health Care said this has put them in a very precarious position. He said in the last 8 months they gone through their reserves and had to discharge 18 people with catastrophic injuries and no place to go. Other providers joined the call saying they were at the end of their ropes, as well, and may soon have to discharge more patients that previously paid for and depend on 1-on-1 care. Some of these patients are quadriplegic, paraplegic, and have severe breathing issues due to accidents. One provider said they have made attempts at negotiating with the insurance companies, but they aren’t interested.

Bezotte said he felt the reduction in the fee schedule should only affect cases going forward and not work retroactively, as insurance companies were being said to implement it.

Democratic State Rep Julie Rogers was part of the event and agreed, stating that all Michigan law is prospective and moving-forward. She said she has read the legislation “umpteen times” and nothing in it states that it is retroactive, and this is something that the insurance companies are just doing.

Bezotte said they are trying raise more awareness and momentum on this topic, and encouraged everyone to reach out to their representatives and senators to let them know how they feel.