Family says state insurance reform will jeopardize son's healthcare

Michael Boyagian had just graduated from high school, turned 18 and had plans to move to Florida. But in September of 1987, he suffered a horrible car crash when his Buick was broadsided.

"The crash happened and it took it all away," said Kay Boyagian, his father.

"It totaled his car and it totaled him," said Sharron Boyagian, his mother.

Ever since that day Michael has required help just doing the simplest of things.

"He needs total care, he doesn’t brush his own teeth, he doesn’t take his own shower, he can't dress himself," Sharron said.

"He has the use of one arm," Kay said.

But with the state’s new no-fault auto insurance reform going into effect, the level of care Micheal receives is in jeopardy. The new law slashes the amount of money that insurance companies will reimburse acute care providers by almost half.

Michael Boyagian in 1987

Michael Boyagian in 1987

"What a slap in the face this is, for the nurses who care so much about him," Sharron said. "And what about all the other people. There are thousands that are out there that are in just the kind of shape Micheal is."

Rose is one of the registered nurses who care for Michael. She’s been by his side for 14 years.

"We stayed through the whole pandemic here," she said. "We did not go to a lot of outings to keep Michael safe, and we love him, he’s like family to us."

But Rose can’t take a 45 percent pay cut. She and Michael’s parents fear what would happen if Michael had to go to a long-term care facility.

"If Michael had to go to a facility, he would die from heartbreak, because he is so used to having one-on-one," Sharron said.

Michael Boyagian's parents say his level of care will be jeopardized by the state's insurance reform.

Michael Boyagian's parents say his level of care will be jeopardized by the state's insurance reform.

Unable to swallow, Michael can easily choke on his own saliva. Without constant care and with a nurse in charge of several patients, his parents worry about his safety.

"Is she going to be there present when all of sudden he turns blue?" said Rose.

State lawmakers say they are working on a bipartisan effort to address the issue.

Michael's parents just hope it is resolved sooner than later.

"It’s not fair," Sharron said. "It is not fair at all."