Dozens of people gathered at the Spirit of Detroit Plaza on Thursday to continue pushing for changes to the 2019 law to review Michigan’s auto insurance policies without guilt.
“Rally for Vladi: Turning the Lamp on 18,000 Guilty Survivors” comes as the families of crash victims await a decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals that could halt the more controversial provisions of the reform.
They and organizers such as the Michigan Brain Injury Association say the update was unfair and retrospective to survivors of an accident injured before the law went into effect, including former Detroit Red Wing player Vladimir “Vladi” Konstantinov, who needs from constant worries after a limousine crash less than a week after winning the Stanley Cup in June 1997. Konstantinov appeared at the event.
He and at least 18,000 others are facing reduced services due to the reform, which limits relatives’ time to be reimbursed for care and reduced fees that medical providers may charge insurance companies related to the treatment of an injured driver.
“These survivors have essentially been robbed,” Thomas Constant, president and CEO of the Michigan Non-Profit Brain Injury Association, told the audience. “They deserve what they have already paid for. And it is time for the government to protect the contractual rights of its citizens, not to reduce them.”
An appellate panel of three judges will decide whether the 2019 law was unconstitutionally applied to drivers insured and injured in a catastrophic accident before the date of entry into force of the law.
The lawsuit focuses on the provisions of the new law, which limit home care to 56 hours a week and a 45% reduction in fees that medical providers can charge to insurance companies for care provided to catastrophic survivors.
“The only real winners here are car insurance companies. Everyone else has been deceived,” said Tennis representative Yancy, D-Harper Woods. “We have to hold our insurance companies accountable. That’s the only way to protect not only disaster survivors, but every one of us who pays bonuses in our state. “
To celebrate the third anniversary of the law’s signing last month, insurance companies and business groups praised state leaders. The letter to Democratic Gov. Whitmer, Wentworth, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirky, signed by groups including the Michigan Insurance Alliance, highlighted recent $ 400 discounts on drivers, lower car insurance costs. growth of newly insured drivers and the entry of new insurance companies on the market.
In a statement to The Detroit News on Thursday, Erin McDonagh, executive director of the Michigan Insurance Alliance, said the reforms “have maintained medically necessary care and our member companies continue to work with clients to ensure that their medically necessary care is covered. “
McDonagh added that the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services has set up a hotline for those who cannot solve problems.
“Three years after the reforms, the department has heard from an incredibly small number of people who are worried about maintaining quality care, or from medical providers with billing complaints,” she said. “We think this is another indication that innocent reforms work for millions of insured drivers in Michigan, and we need to continue on that course.”
But many who gathered in Detroit on Thursday with signs reading “I’m just asking about what I paid for” disagree.
“People are suffering – not only the wounded like Vladimir and some of you, but also their families,” said James Belanka, who spoke on behalf of the hockey player.
“Vladi and the other survivors do not want special treatment. They just want the care they need. They want what is prescribed for them. They want what is promised to them. They want the care they have already paid for through their insurance company. They want the care that will enable them to lead a meaningful and productive life. The Michigan No Guilt Act should not have retroactive effect. “
Baxter Jones’s grandmother from Detroit, who suffered a brain injury in an accident in 2005, said she was also worried about her future because a doctor told him she needed round-the-clock care.
“It’s not right,” he said of the reforms. “It’s a contract, for God’s sake. We paid them a premium for the protection service.”