Thanks for contacting our office about the State Senate Bill 248. While our office does not have jurisdiction over the legislation I contacted the State Senate office and they sent the response below. I have also sent your concerns to your State Representative Vanessa Guerra. If you would like to follow up with her directly you can contact her at 517-373-0152.
So first off, Medicaid would be Mrs. Barnett’s son’s health insurer, not his auto insurer. So whatever company is his auto insurer would still have liability under SB 248 for medical needs caused by his auto accident. There is no cap on lifetime benefits under SB 248 currently, although that language has been suggested by Republican legislators and was in the bills that passed out of the House Insurance Committee last session.
SB 248 does impact claimants like Mr. Barnett who are already in the system. Senate Dems tried to get an amendment that would limit the effect of the bill to only future claimants, but it was defeated.
What could impact Mr. Barnett is SB 248’s limitation on in-home attendant care wages. Under the bill, in-home attendants may only earn up to $15/hour – no matter what degree or quality of care they provide. This is a huge hit to families where one person either chooses not to work, or is precluded from working, in order to stay home with a loved one who needs daily in-home care. As you can imagine, $15/hour is not enough to live on – especially when one person has major, and likely expensive, healthcare needs.
Another potential impact for Mr. Barnett is SB 248’s fee schedule on healthcare providers. Under the bill healthcare providers like hospitals and rehabilitation centers are restricted from charging an auto insurer more than 150% of the Medicare rate. That’s the wonky way of saying that hospitals, rehab clinics and medical supply stores can’t bill the auto insurers as much as they use to. This may cause some people’s healthcare options to change as providers start to use cheaper supplies and less expensive healthcare methods. We’ve also heard from hospital and doctor associations about the bill’s fee schedule will cause some of their member offices/locations to close. This would be a big hit to both rural and underserved urban areas. So there is potential that Mr. Barnett’s local healthcare provider and/or medical supply store could close, which could cause extremely difficulty if he is unable to travel long distances but who need care that will only be offered at a location that is out of their area. (I don’t mean to cause alarm. It’s not that we have a list of facilities that will for sure close, but the smart money is on at least some facilities across the state closing).
Deputy District Director
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05)
801 S. Saginaw St.
Flint, MI 48502