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HB 4936: new legislation drastically reduces Michigan No-Fault attendant care benefits

September 29, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Attendant care attorney explains how catastrophically injured auto accident victims could have limited home nursing services, reduced quality of care

Today I’m discussing how HB 4936 will reduce Michigan attendant care insurance benefits.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “attendant care,” as an attendant care attorney for almost 20 years, I like to explain it as follows: When an auto accident victim is injured so badly that he can’t take care of his most basic needs, like eating, using the bathroom, bathing and getting dressed, the victim’s No-Fault insurance company will pay a nurse or someone in the family to help. That service is called attendant care. Some people also refer to this as nursing care services.

Here’s a link to some frequently asked questions about attendant care.

Family provided attendant care is loved by those catastrophically injured in auto accidents, and hated by the insurance companies. HB 4936 would essentially do away with family provided attendant care in Michigan.

How HB 4936 will limit Michigan attendant care

(a) Attendant care (also known as nursing services) are provided to an injured person in his or her home. Under HB 4936, family provided attendant care and like nursing services by individuals who are not certified, registered, or licensed under Article 15 of the Public Health Code, is limited to a total of 56 hours per week (capped at eight hours per day) and is payable at the hourly rate of $11 per hour for basic care and $17 per hour for skilled care — regardless of how severe the injury or the extent of the patient’s needs.

Can an insurance company ever be required to pay more for attendant care in Michigan?

If the injured person is institutionalized, or hires certified and/or registered attendant care providers, an auto insurance company may be required to pay more for such agency or commercial attendant care. [?3107C(2)]

WARNING: Changes to attendant care benefits are retroactive in HB 4936

The changes to in-home attendant care No-Fault benefits appear to be retroactive in this bill.

Warning for attendant care lawyers and people currently receiving attendant care benefits: This means that this bill, if it becomes law, will be applicable to all current and future auto accident injury victims who receive and require attendant care. And for those who have No-Fault attendant care claims in litigation, pending trial or an arbitration, retro activity means that attendant care claims will be severely curtailed to the new hours and rates.

It will be up to the No-Fault attorney to file motions on attendant care cases where the plaintiff has rejected case evaluation awards, so that attorney is not subjecting his or her client to the possibility of sanctions. This is because overnight, the applicable hours and applicable hourly rate of these attendant care claims would be drastically reduced by legislative fiat.

Steven Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top No-Fault attorneys handling serious car and truck accident lawsuits. He frequently writes about Michigan No-Fault law and is available for comment.

Related information to protect yourself:

Why HB 4936 will not lower the price of auto insurance

Attendant care case law

Your No-Fault insurance benefits

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our No-Fault attorneys.

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