FL Advocates Push to Change Auto No-Fault
Members of the Neuro Trauma Association of Florida (NTAF) are moving forward with their goal of revising Florida’s insurance coverage including the auto no-fault law, because, as NTAF Founder/Chairman, Neal Flannery, explained “citizens of Florida are suffering.”
“Approximately 90% of the people in FL who sustain a moderate-to-severe brain or spinal cord injury have no rehabilitation and care management services. As the Chief Operating Officer of NeuroInternational, a post-acute provider of residential TBI/SCI services, I receive several heartbreaking calls every week from survivors and families from Florida who need post-acute neurobehavioral and neurorehabilitation services and have no coverage or funding,” Flannery said.
He added, “We do our part by offering scholarships and reduced fee schedules, but we can’t solve a systems problem alone. Unfortunately, Medicaid, Medicare, and most insurance policies – such as BCBS, United, Aetna, etc. – do not pay for needed services. Even if a person has health insurance,, they had better be independently wealthy if they suffer a moderate-to-severe TBI or spinal cord injury.”
During the course of his daily clinical work with patients who have suffered varying severity levels of TBIs, Dr. Pritesh Parbhoo (Clinical Program Director of Neuropsychology Services at NeuroInternational and co-vice president of NTAF) noted that in his experience “TBI survivors who do not possess Michigan’s Catastrophic auto coverage trust fund, Worker’s Compensation benefits or a similar type of catastrophic coverage are often significantly restricted from vital residential neurorehabilitation services”.
Dr. Parbhoo further stated “TBIs propel a plethora of paramount challenges towards survivors and their family’s, one of which includes reassessing their individual and family identities. However, the process of healthy adjustment is often delayed or problematic because family members are forcibly consumed in their efforts to secure funding and/or are drowning in debt or bankruptcy to afford only basic services.
“As a result, these family members often show signs of being physically, emotionally, and psychologically drained leaving them poorly equipped to provide higher level social support, which remains an essential piece of bolstering a patient’s ability to fully engage the neurorehabilitation process.”
Flannery further explained, “We desire for all persons in Florida to be afforded needed care after severe neurological impairment. We have a partial solution in the works that would provide lifelong catastrophic care for persons injured in auto, cycle, and boating accidents.
“We want Florida to adopt the same auto insurance coverage with lifetime catastrophic coverage no-fault system that is in place in Michigan; they ahve a compassionate auto no-fault law that provides needed care for people with auto-related injuries and limits exosure to insurance companies up to the first $480,000.” Flannery emphasized. John Gwynne Prosser II is the current president of the NTAF, Flannery said and added that Prosser is a key leader in the BIAMI, MBIC and CPAN; three groups in Michigan that protect their unique & superior Auto no-fault law (hailed by the Insurance Institute as the finest Model in America).
“Prosser also testifies in front of many state legislatures and in Washington, DC to urge elected officials to support bills to fund services for TBI/SCI survivors, “Flannery added. When asked what drives his passion to help others, Prosser put it this way: “Imagine if it was you or your loved ones.”
Advocates say there are several reasons why Florida should adopt the Michigan model. 1. Its proven 2. Its successful 3. Its funded by drivers for drivers. 4. Its compassionate, and 5. it is budget-neutral, common-sense approach to solving a silent epidemic and that there is a groundswell of support.
“Our proposal has supportive feedback from State Representative Joseph Abruzzo (who plans to sponsor a bill). Thomas Delilah – Governor-appointed Chief Beuro of BSCIPADOH, and the Dept. of Medicaid. This proposed auto no failt law will save Billions for the Dept. of Medicaid, School Systems, Department of Corrections and many other agencies.” Prosser stated. “It will create tens of thousands of jobs and provide superior and comprehensive services for less money. The fact is that this proposed no fault law will be the greatest thing to happen for TBI and SCI survivors in Florida’s history. I can’t understand why anyone could oppose this bill … it saves State Government money, prevents bankruptcy due to medical bills, creates jobs, provides compassionate care for those in need, and its proven and successful,” Prosser added.
Erick Collazo, the father of a TBI survivor, co-vice president of the NTAF, and council member for the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program Advisory Council, a group comprised of 16 between the NTAF and officials at the Florida department of Health, Brain and Spinal Cord injury Program.
“Mr. Collazo reported to the group that Thom (Delilah) seems very supportive of our efforts. If fact, Mr. Delilah has asked the NTAF to provide financial calculations that support our position that the proposed no fault legislation is a good move for the State of Florida.” Flannery Said.
“The NTAF’s leadership is a diversified group of professionals and advocates from Florida and Michigan who have made unique contributions to the group. In addition to the members already mentioned, the leadership team includes Pam Feinberg-Rivkin, Dr. Geoffrey Kanter, Debbie Newton, and Dr. Rob Cohen.” Flannery pointed out. “Our leadership group and our several hundred members are serious about making this legislation a reality. We will push forward until we reach our goal.”
Flannery said that those who want to learn more about the group’s agenda, support their efforts or sign up for a free NTAF membership, can visit the organization’s website at www.NeuroTraumaAssociation.com.
“We encourage everyone to contact their legislators, the local media, family and friends to spread the word and create support. Remember, the family you save may be your own.” Flannery concluded.
Interested individuals can learn more by visiting the www.NeuroTraumaAssociation.com website and view the PSA by International bestselling Author Mitch Alborn and the video “The Solution for Brain Injuries and Bankruptcies”.
Also refer to the book “The Educated Consumers Guide to No-Fault Automobile Insurance”, found at www.authorhouse.com.