Department of Insurance and Financial Services releases clarification on new auto insurance attendant care provision

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has released new guidance explaining what care auto accident victims are entitled to.

The following statement was released by DIFS:

“This guidance reminds survivors and their families of their rights under the law as we work to ensure that Michiganders receive the care to which they are entitled. DIFS is working closely with insurers to address access to care concerns, and we stand ready to assist consumers with questions or concerns regarding attendant care or any other provision of the new auto insurance law.”

-DIFS Director Anita Fox

Confusion surrounding in-home attendant care for car accident victims grew after the 2019 auto reform law. “Attendant care includes assistance with eating, dressing, or administering medications,” said DIFS.

Confusion lead some to believe that the change applied to all accident victims and would prevent them from receiving appropriate care.

In response, DIFS released a bulletin, located here, clarifying the issue.

The bulletin can be read in its entirety below as well.

Public Act 21 of 2019 amended MCL 500.3157 to establish limits on charges and reimbursement for services provided pursuant to personal protection insurance (PIP) medical coverage.1 MCL 500.3157(10) states that, for attendant care provided in an injured person’s home, an insurer is only required to pay for up to 56 hours per week of attendant care if the care is provided by: a) an individual who is related to the injured person; b) an individual who is domiciled in the household of the injured person; or c) an individual with whom the injured person had a business or social relationship before the injury. (This is sometimes referred to as “family-provided” attendant care.). For hours of attendant care in excess of 56 hours per week, the injured person may be able to enter into a contract with their insurer for more than 56 hours of “family-provided” attendant care or the care may be provided by persons other than those described above. As of the date of this bulletin, insurers representing more than 90% of the market share in Michigan have communicated their willingness to contract with their insureds for more than 56 hours of “family-provided” attendant care. Consumers should be aware that under current law, just as under the prior law, they are entitled to as many hours of attendant care as are reasonably necessary. Consumers who are entitled to more than 56 hours of attendant care and want those hours to be “family-provided” attendant care should contact their insurer to ask about the possibility of entering into a contract for family provided attendant care in excess of 56 hours per week.

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