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State Senate passes bills to ensure access to long-term care for severely injured car crash victims

Rick Pluta
Michigan Public Radio Network
Michigan Senator Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford) sponsored legislation aimed at address complaints about the state’s 2019 auto no-fault insurance law.

The state Senate has passed bills to ensure access to long-term care for severely injured car crash victims.

Many crash victims lost necessary medical care after the 2019 auto no-fault law passed. That's because the law set reimbursements for many post-crash medical services below the cost of providing the care.

Sponsors say the bills establish a reasonable reimbursement schedule that will allow providers to provide care, and insurance companies to have certainty when making reimbursements.

Democratic State Senator Sarah Anthony said car crash survivors and their advocates came to the Capitol and begged for help as soon as the 2019 no fault law began limiting access to necessary care.

"We've owed it to them for years to do something - people have actually lost their lives because politicians in the House and Senate have done nothing," she said.

Opponents say the higher medical reimbursements in the bills would raise car insurance rates.

But Democratic Senator Mary Cavanagh said she thinks the increases would be small.

And she said other bills will be introduced later to address high insurance rates.

"We really need to abolish this narrative that the only way we can lower premiums is through [limiting] access to care," she said.

The new reimbursement schedule would primarily benefit crash victims who need long term care -- and who have unlimited medical on their policies at the time of their accidents.

Crash victims with lower coverage limits would be able to access care at the new reimbursement levels, but only until their coverage limits are reached.

The bills now go to the state House.
Copyright 2023 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.