Music and NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

New Michigan auto insurance law leaves care of some critically injured patients in jeopardy

Hospital UTPL by Dirección de Comunicación UTPL is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Michigan's new auto insurance law is forcing families of catastrophically injured loved ones to consider desperate measures.

Wednesday, June 30, was the last day in operation for some companies that provide long-term care for catastrophically injured car crash survivors because of steep 45 percent cuts in insurance payments to the companies.

CEO of Aspire Rehabilitation and Therapy Services Randy Bruce says his company could no longer afford to keep caring for its 20 clients, who all need intensive treatment.

A few clients are still looking for another company to help them.

“There's still a couple that I'm very worried about that don't have a place to go and I don't know what they're going to do," Bruce said.

Bruce says he thinks many other companies will have to close because of the cuts, and that could leave thousands of people with less or even no care.

One of the people effected by these changes are family members like Chalisse Wilson.  She and her siblings quit their jobs in 2008 and have been paid since then to provide 24/7 care for a brother after his auto accident.

Now, she has virtually no income, but there's no one else to care for her brother.

“How do I go to a job when he can't sit at home by himself," Wilson asked.  "Do I go drop him off at the hospital?”

The Insurance Alliance of Michigan claims insurance companies are working with families like Wilson's to find alternate care, but she says she has heard nothing from her brother's insurance company about his care in July.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.