Case Management

The Time For Michigan DIFS To Take Action Is Now

 August 24, 2021

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

Michigan DIFS (The Department of Insurance and Financial Services) needs to clarify that all changes enacted by the No-Fault auto law in 2019 do not apply to those already receiving care from their policies that were in effect before the new law was enacted.

As the Michigan DIFS Director, Anita Fox has the power necessary to ensure that the insurance laws in Michigan are executed properly. Issues such as the medical fee schedule ins subsection 7 of the MCL.500.3157, as well as the 56 hour per week restrictions on coverage for in-home, family-provided care. Because of the drastic consequences this would have on victims that are reliant on 24-hour care, the time to act is now. Thousands of people who need the care promised to them when they paid for it may not just suffer but may die due to lack of care.

No-Fault Reform Changes Don’t Apply To Policies In Effect Already

Taking the stance and the responsibility to uphold Michigan DIFS to its statement found on their “New Auto Insurance Page” is crucial now more than ever. And luckily, the page makes it clear that the No-Fault reform changes only apply to policies that are issued or renewed after 7/1/2020. It further goes on to say that those who are already receiving benefits from their auto insurers from an accident will continue to receive those benefits, regardless of any future PIP medical option (so long as these health issues occurred from a crash before the law went into effect). These statements are found on the Michigan DIFS site in their “FAQ’s” section on the New Auto Insurance Page.

No-Fault Reform Changes Cannot Apply to Any Pre-Reform Policies

On September 20, 2019, Michigan DIFS Director Anita Fox stated that in Order 19-048-M, auto-insurance companies would not be able to apply the No-Fault reform’s “amended provisions” to any “claims made under existing, in-force policies”. In turn, this also means that the other No-Fault reform changes (such as the new medical fee schedule and the limiting of 56-hour-per-week in-home family-provided care) cannot be applied to any policies that were in effect before that time as well.

Nowhere in the No-Fault reform does it ever state that the provisions regarding medical fee schedules and limitation on family provided care does it say that it applies retroactively. If this were the case, lawmakers would have been sure to include language that would have addressed this, stating that ALL changes made with the reform apply to ALL motor vehicle accident policies issued or renewed “before” and “after” a specific date.

This negligence is unacceptable, forcing those who have been catastrophically injured in car accidents to pay for their much-needed care out-of-pocket to make up for the new limitations the No-Fault reform has placed on their ability to access the necessary medical treatment and care. Providers will not be able to provide services due to the restrictions of the fee schedule. This leaves the victims of car crashes to either pay the high costs of their medical bills, or simply go without care.

File Your Complaint With The Michigan DIFS

If you or your loved one was injured and has been receiving care under an auto insurance policy before the No-Fault reform’s effective date and are now facing the burdens of that auto insurance company trying to apply the No-Fault reform, take action today. File a complaint with the Michigan DIFS site. You can find it in the “Michigan’s New Auto Insurance Page'' under the section “File a Complaint”. It is the Michigan DIFS’s responsibility to act and use their power to ensure that medical care is not taken away from those who did nothing wrong, and from those who need it most.

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