On the day Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that drivers with car insurance will soon each receive $400 reimbursement checks, about two dozen people demonstrated in Macomb County in support of the reinstatement of car reform measures. car without fault.
The group gathered along 19 Mile Road outside Ernie’s Grill Room in Clinton Township, where a private fundraiser for Republicans in the state was being held. They blame Mike Shirkey and other GOP members for blocking legislation that would fix what they called “devastating changes” made to the no-fault law in 2019.
David Oswald, 34, of Utica, said he was biking in Stony Creek at age 15 when he was hit by a motorist. He suffered a traumatic brain injury which leaves him with poor balance and requires a home care provider for his accommodation and transportation services.
“I would be homeless if it wasn’t for (Relevar Home Care),” Oswald said. “Michigan’s no-fault law saved the big shots $10 and whatever on their car insurance, but for all people with disabilities in Michigan, our services have been wiped out.”
Whitmer and the state’s top insurance regulator said Monday that a $3 billion transfer of excess funds from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to auto insurers would be completed this week. Businesses will have 60 days to issue refunds – no later than May 9.
The state said eligible consumers who don’t get a refund should contact their auto insurer or agent. Those unable to resolve questions or concerns may contact the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
Critics say reduced reimbursements have led to injured motorists losing quality care and access to care.
Christa Rolando, administrator of Relevar Home Care in Rochester, called the $400 re-election year checks a “distraction.”
“My message is to fix this,” she said of State Sen. Mike Shirkey. “What would happen to him or his family if they had an accident today. He might lose his benefits, and that’s what’s happening to my home care agency. We hardly get paid. We really can’t take care of people like we should, and that’s what we do: take care of people who have been hurt.
Critics said dozens of home care agencies have been forced to close and hundreds of people have lost care so far, due to legally mandated payment cuts for long-term care providers duration that are lower than the cost of providing care.
The catastrophic care fund, which reimburses insurers for medical and other costs for people seriously injured in crashes, is funded by an annual per-car fee that became optional under a 2019 law.
The governor attributed the excess and refunds in part to the law that also limited or reduced what health care providers and home health aides can charge auto insurers, who said they were being ripped off.
Shirkey, the state Senate majority leader, did not respond to requests for comment. The Clarkdale Republican
He said he wanted to see how the reforms would play out, once fully implemented, before any changes were considered.