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8 devastating new restrictions on benefits, legal protections under 2014 No Fault “reform” plan

March 17, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

“Substitute for House Bill 4612” dismantles Michigan No Fault at the extreme expense of auto accident victims and the medical provider community

The restrictions on No Fault insurance and PIP (Personal Injury Protection) benefits that Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) and some House Republicans have proposed in their No Fault “reform” plan called Substitute for HB 4612 are unprecedented and permanent. And the effects will be devastating and far-reaching.

Unfortunately, the media has not really addressed these issues to date, although the County Executives’ press conference that featured Brooks Patterson, Ficano, Hackel, Rep. Stallworth (D-Detroit), Fred Nader, Erica Coulston and Dr. Owen Perlman last Monday did a much better job of framing these issues for the public.

These new restrictions can fairly be characterized as follows:

  1. New taxes and assessments.
  2. Capping and limiting No Fault medical, attendant care, rehabilitation, and vehicle-modification benefits and medical providers’ fees.
  3. Making it more difficult for auto accident victims to show that they’re entitled to No Fault PIP benefits.
  4. Making it easier for auto insurers to deny and/or terminate auto accident victims’ No Fault benefits.
  5. Making it more difficult for auto accident victims to challenge denials and/or terminations of No Fault PIP benefits.
  6. Stripping right to trial by jury for “reasonable” No Fault expenses.
  7. Creating a “witch hunt”-type of atmosphere for doctors, hospitals, therapists, and other professionals who treat auto accident victims.  I’ve written about this before, and it’s becoming a big problem in Michigan. Some insurance companies today, like Allstate, are targeting certain types of doctors, such as those that treat TBI, to drive them out of business and thus save millions of dollars.
  8. Creating a “Low-Cost Automobile Insurance Pilot Program” that neither guarantees a specific “low” cost for auto insurance nor provides for adequate coverage.

This week and next, I will discuss each of these points in detail. Tomorrow, I will review the new taxes and assessments as part of Speaker Bolger’s “Substitute for HB 4612.”

Related information:

Top 6 reasons to say “NO” to House Speaker Jase Bolger’s new No Fault “reform” plan

[Community Guidelines]

3 Replies to “8 devastating new restrictions on benefits, legal protections under 2014 No Fault “reform” plan”

  1. Steve: Great information. All the public needs to know is that this proposed legislation was put forth on behalf of INSURANCE COMPANIES. Legislation that is proffered at the behest of insurance companies ALWAYS involves “devastating and far-reaching” limitations on the rights and benefits of citizens. The citizens of Michigan should ask Mr. Bolger: 1. “Who do you represent and what is the genesis of this legislation?” 2. “How do I know that the savings generated will go to citizens in permanent premium reductions and not in the pockets of insurance companies?” 3. “If a catastrophically injured person cannot get all of the benefits he/she needs, will the difference be made up in additional taxes?” If you are told that there will be permanent premium reductions or no additional taxes from this anti-citizen legislation, you are being lied to.

    1. Mark, I couldn’t agree more! In this age of Citizens United, I would love to know how much the insurance companies have said they will give to the campaigns of Speaker Bolger and the other Republicans who support this one-sided legislation. Shame there is no such thing as the public good for so many politicians in this age of lobbyists and unlimited campaign contributions in politics.

  2. There does need to be reform on auto insurance. When a 56 year old woman, who drives about 35 miles a month and pays almost $200 a month for insurance, there is a serious problem! I was almost killed in an auto accident and have been left with unpaid medical bills and can’t get current care because of same, yet insurance companies can use my credit, my status as a single woman and where I live to compile my premiums, that’s a bunch of bunk! I have been left disabled and not privileged enough for this fund and truly don’t understand all the ins and outs of insurance. But, I do know one thing ~ Jase Bolger, and his republican ilk, are no friend to the taxpayers of Michigan! I wouldn’t trust him with my last dollar!

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