MichMash: Michigan’s no-fault insurance ruling means changes for pre-reform auto crash survivors

Thousands of Michigan residents injured in auto accidents prior to June 11, 2019 argued some reform changes interrupted their access to essential care.

A car destroyed in a crash

A car destroyed in a crash.

In a 5-2 ruling last month, the Michigan Supreme sided with a lower court’s decision that car crash survivors critically injured before 2019’s widespread changes to Michigan’s no-fault insurance are not subject to the law’s limits on medical benefits.

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One of the significant changes the reform brought was cutting reimbursements by 45% for services not provided by Medicare. Thousands of Michigan residents injured in auto accidents prior to June 11, 2019 argued the changes interrupted their access to essential care.

Michigan’s Supreme Court ruling prevents insurance companies from retroactively applying the reform restrictions to this group.

Bridge Michigan’s Lauren Gibbons helps us understand the implications of this decision with MichMash host Cheyna Roth.

In this episode:

  • No-fault reform and what it means for auto accident survivors.
  • Consequence for false electors claims.
  • How Michigan will play a role in the 2024 presidential elections.

In 2019, the Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer approved legislation transforming the state’s auto no-fault insurance law. Gibbons shares that the recent Michigan Supreme decision makes a lot of changes to the law.

“The part that is affected by the Supreme Court decision is specifically the medical fee schedule that providers are allowed to charge back and get reimbursed for insurance companies when they are caring for auto accident victims,” Gibbons says.  

The argument from auto accident survivors is that the former fee schedule wasn’t fair to them and preventing them from getting the care they seek. Some of those survivors went to court and managed to get it overturned for the drivers before the law’s passage in 2019. Now the auto insurance policies must adhere to what was in place before the law was in effect.  

Insurance providers are the main critics of the court’s decision.  

“[The insurance providers] argue that the no-fault law itself and the changes that going back to it were supposed to bring down Michigan’s skyrocketing auto insurance cost,” says Gibbons. “They say that including these medical fees and including the people who were injured prior to the law’s passage was a key factor in ensuring that those rates went down.” 

There are also those who support what the decision means for the affected people before 2019, but there are concerns that it won’t apply to people moving forward.

Listen to the entire episode using the media player above.

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.