House speaker: No changes to auto insurance law this quarter

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Bills to fix a Michigan law that reduced auto insurance payments for post-acute care for accident survivors are dead for the term, a key lawmaker has said.

House Speaker Jason Wentworth, a Farwell Republican and supporter of the 2019 law, said Wednesday he had spent a year reviewing proposals.

“They’re rolling us all back to the old status quo or putting Michigan drivers’ savings and reimbursement checks at risk,” he said in a statement. “At this point, it’s time to move on.”

Lawmakers from both parties in the GOP-controlled Legislature have introduced measures to amend the law, which last July limited or reduced what hospitals, residential care facilities and home care providers can charge car insurers for care.

Reimbursements for post-acute services that do not have a Medicare code have been reduced by 45%. Services affected include care in adult foster homes, attendant home care and transportation.

The law, which also makes the purchase of unlimited injury protection benefits optional starting in mid-2020, is a key reason why reimbursements of $400 per vehicle are being issued. to all insured drivers. But critics say those seriously injured in crashes are losing care and access because their carers can’t handle the 45% reduction.

Tom Judd, president of the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council, said Wentworth “gave in” to the insurance industry without holding a hearing on the matter.

“What President Wentworth is doing is akin to walking away from the scene of an accident with smoldering smoke and accident victims writhing in need of help,” he said, pledging to redouble efforts to end what he called a crisis for claimants and accident victims.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat vying for re-election, last year urged lawmakers to make changes before reimbursement cuts take effect, but also touted the reimbursements and pushed for them. arrive earlier.

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