End of no-fault prompts ‘buyer beware’ from insurers

Michigan

GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Kary Scheiern says you never know when life will throw you a curveball. Her curveball came on July 19, 2018.

“I was in Greenville. And I was hit from behind — I never saw it coming — by someone who should not have been driving at a high rate of speed,” Scheiern said. “My car was flipped on the driver’s side door and wrapped around the telephone pole.”

Scheiern said if it wasn’t for the catastrophic care provided under Michigan’s no-fault insurance law, which is set to go away in July 2020, she’s not sure what she would have done.

“Everything has been covered,” Scheiern said. “From medications to surgeries to anesthesia to … outpatient PTSD therapy, so I can get behind the wheel again.”

The end of no-fault doesn’t mean that coverage will not be available, it just means it won’t be mandatory. You’ll have the ability to decide if and how much personal injury protection (PIP) coverage you want to purchase.

But you also need to talk to your medical insurance carrier about what’s included and what’s not in your policy.   

Under no-fault, medical insurance providers in Michigan carved out medical coverage from policies because auto insurance plans were required to cover it. That won’t happen once no-fault goes away.

“Many of us have made decisions, Priority Health in particular, to cover those expenses because of the policy changes on the auto side. But not every carrier has made that decision,” Marti Lolli, chief marketing officer for Priority Health, said. “We’re not talking about sophisticated services. We’re talking about the basic hospital stay, anesthesia service (and) provider services associated to that.”

Now that open and annual enrollment periods are underway, you need to talk to your human resources department or your insurance provider to make sure you’re covered.

It could keep a terrible situation from being worse.

“I couldn’t have imagined before this, all of the things that I would need to recover from this catastrophic accident,” Scheiern said.

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