“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:
- New taxes and assessments.
- Capping and limiting No Fault medical, attendant care, rehabilitation, and vehicle-modification benefits and medical providers’ fees.
- Making it more difficult for auto accident victims to show that they’re entitled to No Fault PIP benefits.
- Making it easier for auto insurers to deny and/or terminate auto accident victims’ No Fault benefits.
- Making it more difficult for auto accident victims to challenge denials and/or terminations of No Fault PIP benefits.
- Stripping right to trial by jury for “reasonable” No Fault expenses.
- 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.
- 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.”