Lawmakers fight for bill to restore funding for long-term care for crash survivors after no-fault change

Laurie Oleska will be one of many in Lansing Tuesday as state lawmakers introduce a bill aimed at helping survivors of serious car crashes and their home health care providers.

"For these legislators to do the right thing and step up and realize this is not something we intended, and now we’re going to fix it," Oleska said.

Her son Dan is a serious car crash survivor. He required around-the-clock care after he was paralyzed in a car accident nearly 20 years ago and got it until June 30th.

"At that time we were with health partners had been with them since 2004 and June 30th, they laid off all their employees, I lost all my nurses," she said.

Although changes to Michigan’s no-fault law that went into effect last year, slashed auto insurance rates, it also cut insurance reimbursements for those home health care providers, forcing some out of business and their patients into facilities where advocates say they don’t always get the best of care.

"Our patients that have been involved in car accidents deserve the right to collect on insurance policies that they have purchased," said State Rep. Phil Green (R-District 84).

Green sponsored the bill that would help counter the consequences to the revamped no-fault insurance law which brought on a new medical-fee schedule, cutting off crash survivors’ access to crucial medical care.

"What my bill would do, is take and link fees to already established fee schedules," Green said. "Whether it’s the VA fee schedule for the home health provider, or the Medicaid brain injury program for residential facilities."

The bill would also help families that dropped everything to work as their loved one’s caregivers.

"So the family members that provided care, under the 2019 law, would only be able to provide care eight hours a day and be reimbursed for it," Green said. 'This bill would actually make it so that they could provide care for 16 hours a day."

Green’s bill has bi-partisan support in the form of roughly 40 co-signers.

"We need to fix this now, time is of the essence," he said. "So that everybody, not just for the auto patients, everybody, every patient, the Medicaid, the Medicare, the workman's comp patients, they all can keep their providers without having a major disruption to their healthcare system."

Green is optimistic the bill will get the support it needs. 

Laurie Oleska and her son Dan, who was seriously injured in a crash.

Laurie Oleska and her son Dan, who was seriously injured in a crash.