Michigan Supreme Court Takes Major Car Insurance Case

FILE - Health aide Angela Martin helps former Detroit Red Wings star Vladimir Konstantinov into his wheelchair on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in West Bloomfield, Mich. Konstantinov suffered a severe brain stem injury from an accident in a limousine with an impaired driver after a Stanley Cup celebration nearly 25 years ago. He was in danger of losing his 24/7 care he has had for two-plus decades, but major changes in Michigan car insurance law do not apply to people who were severely injured before summer 2019, the state appeals court said Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. It is a victory for long-term victims of motor vehicle crashes and their care providers. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
FILE - Health aide Angela Martin helps former Detroit Red Wings star Vladimir Konstantinov into his wheelchair on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in West Bloomfield, Mich. Konstantinov suffered a severe brain stem injury from an accident in a limousine with an impaired driver after a Stanley Cup celebration nearly 25 years ago. He was in danger of losing his 24/7 care he has had for two-plus decades, but major changes in Michigan car insurance law do not apply to people who were severely injured before summer 2019, the state appeals court said Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. It is a victory for long-term victims of motor vehicle crashes and their care providers. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court agreed Thursday to decide whether major changes in car insurance law apply to people who were catastrophically injured before summer 2019.

The case is being closely watched by insurers, health-care providers and long-term victims of crashes.

For decades, people injured in crashes were entitled to payment for “all reasonable charges” related to care and rehabilitation. But the new law set a fee schedule and a cap on reimbursements not covered by Medicare.

In August, the state Court of Appeals said lawmakers “did not clearly demonstrate” that insurance payment cuts would be applied retroactively.

And even if those changes were intended to be retroactive, that step violates contract protections in the Michigan Constitution, the court said in a 2-1 opinion.

The decision was a victory for roughly 18,000 people needing long-term care after crashes that took place before June 11, 2019, and the providers of those services.

But the Supreme Court accepted an appeal of that decision and said it would hear arguments in March.

In an effort to lower Michigan's insurance rates, which were among the highest in the U.S., the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer agreed to sweeping changes in 2019.