Case Management, Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

August Settlement Is a Small Victory To No-Fault Victims

 August 24, 2021

By  Deborah L Weiner Katz, OTR/L, CCM, CLCP

On August 16, 2021, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) reached an agreement regarding the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) debate. The compromise ensures that all pedestrians and uninsured vehicles occupants that were severely injured in an automobile accident before July 2, 2020, are still covered with the same insurance benefits they did before the auto-reform law was enacted.

Anita Fox, Michigan’s DIFS Director states, "the premature imposition of a $250,000 cap could have severely impacted the lives of Michigan drivers and uninsured passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. As always, DIFS is here to help consumers and we will continue to do everything possible to ensure Michiganders have the insurance protection they are entitled to receive." 

Because the $250,000 cap initially suggested brought so much criticism as to how it won’t be enough to save those in critical care, the DIFS needed to act quickly. In order to remedy the situation, DIFS issued Order 19-049-M to clarify that uninsured non-drivers (I.e., Passengers, pedestrians, bikers) who were entitled to unlimited PIP medical coverage between June 11, 2019, and July 2, 2020, are still entitled to that same care.

What We Gain from This Settlement

Though the MACP has dropped its appeal in the Court of Claims accepting that they are required to pay more than their intended $250,000 cap to eligible uninsured non-drivers, allowing them to continue to receive the full care they both require and deserve.

 Though this sounds like great news at first, it may offer a beacon of false hope to many others that this new Order 19-049-M covers. This settlement is about the victims of auto accidents, but still not about the vast majority of those who need help.

Those people are ones that, despite being insured with unlimited PIP medical insurance, will have little access to the care they need to stay alive.

The Hidden Negative Consequences: False Hope

This order, once again, does not even mention the victims of a catastrophic car crash with unlimited medical insurance being taken away. The victims who paid for their lifetime of unlimited medical insurance who have their lives threatened by the new reform laws are still in the same precarious state of anxiety, unknowing about their health, and if they will be able to get the care they so desperately need. Though it isn’t much, this order is a start to re-claiming the coverage and care for the auto accident victims in Michigan.

The AdvancedRM Advantage

Our experts understand the complexities that arise from a disability, illness, or catastrophic injury from every perspective: the patient, family member, provider, insurance carrier, attorney involved in complex litigation, and trust fund managers.  

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