DETROIT – Those whose loved ones have catastrophic injuries say the last three years have been a nightmare. Now a new court ruling may be the help they’re so desperate for.
It wasn’t that long ago that the State of Michigan had the highest car insurance costs in the country.
A massive overhaul of No-Fault Insurance in 2019 cut fees medical providers were charging by 45%. But it also puts people with catastrophic injuries in a tough place.
The question is whether that decision will survive on appeal. Those who care for those with life-altering injuries are taking the win.
Chalisse Wilson’s brother Clarence Wilson has been a quadriplegic since 2008 because of a car accident.
The family and professional caregivers have been Clarence Wilson’s lifeline ever since.
“Sometimes you talk to people, and they just don’t get it because they’re not living it,” said Chalisse Wilson.
In a bipartisan move, the legislature overhauled Michigan’s auto no fault in 2019, and part of it was imposing a fee schedule essentially cutting what providers could charge for care by 45%. That left people like Clarence Wilson in the lurch.
But Thursday (Aug. 25) night, a court of appeals ruling, which was a 2-1 decision, says that a 45% cut should not apply to those injured before 2019.
“Finally, after years of leadership ignoring a half dozen attempts with laws that will correct the laws in this that we get some slither of hope,” said Tom Constand, the President of Brain Injury Association of Michigan.
Insurers have already said an appeal is coming because the decision rolls back the controls in place, which tamped down on massive overcharging and fraud, one of the reasons Michigan had the highest insurance rates in the country.
For now, families struggling to maintain care will take the win.
“I’m ecstatic today,” Chalisse Wilson said. “I’m very happy that the decision was made in our favor that it shouldn’t be applied retroactively, but I know because I’ve been dealing with this because I’ve been dealing with the insurance company for almost 15 years now what type of games they play.”
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruling said it should go into effect immediately, meaning those rollbacks should start right now. However, it has been suggested that you wait to see how that appeal gets filed.