Michigan's $25 million catastrophic victim crash fund hasn't spent a cent

State hasn’t received any complete applications for the Provider Fund as of Dec. 13.

Updated: December 18, 2021 - 11:51pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Not a cent from a $25 million relief fund created four months ago has been spent on medical providers to stabilize a July 45% fee cut for Michigan’s auto accident insurance providers.

DIFS spokeswoman Laura Hall told The Center Square in an email that the agency hasn’t received any complete applications for the Provider Fund as of Dec. 13, noting only one company submitted an incomplete application.

“We expected it would take some time for providers to collect information and go through the process required by the statute,” Hall wrote. “In order to be eligible for funding, providers must submit bills to insurers for services rendered after July 1, 2021, complete DIFS’ utilization review process, and gather required documentation prior to submitting an application. The Legislature has directed that DIFS may only consider applications that are complete and include all required information and supporting documentation. DIFS continues to work closely with providers who have questions about the Provider Fund and the new fee schedule.”

The Detroit News first reported the story.

When Michigan lawmakers reformed the highest-in-the-nation auto insurance fees, they didn’t want to leave catastrophic crash victims without funding from the 45% fee cut in July.

So they created a $25 million million Post-Acute Auto Injury Provider Relief Fund that medical providers can apply to for extra funding, but red tape has delayed any business from tapping that fund in the last four months, some say.

"Providers are not going to be able to access this in a timely fashion to make up the deficit that they’re accruing," Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council Board President Tom Judd told the Detroit News.

Medical providers must show internal records to Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), but medical providers say they need a receipt to request fund money and are struggling to get paid from insurance companies, the News reported.

Medical providers can request up to $500,000 through September 2022.

The application form and more information is available at Michigan.gov/ProviderFund.

House Speaker Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell told the News that the program data could improve no-fault insurance reform.

"We have to reassess consistently and constantly," Wentworth said. "But we can’t just open up the act and make changes until we have the information and data we need to make the correct changes."