Covenant emergency sign

Not everyone will benefit from the new no-fault auto insurance overhaul when it goes into effect.

Rehab clinics that treat the most severely injured crash survivors could be forced to drastically downsize or even close in the years ahead.

“It’s going to have probably about a $7 million impact on our organization,” said Ed Bruff, CEO of Covenant Healthcare.

Bruff said the new auto insurance reform law could mean a $7 million hit annually to his bottom line.

But right now, he is more concerned about trauma patients and their families having enough coverage to cover the cost of care as they recover from a car accident.

“It may force individuals into Medicaid and consequently they may bankrupt themselves because of the bills that they’ll accumulate,” Bruff said.

Under the new law, state residents can choose their own personal injury protection options. Bruff is hoping individuals make what he calls the right choice.

“Anybody that would select a plan that is $250,000 to $500,000 would be an appropriate level,” Bruff said.

As for Covenant, Bruff said the business for caring for trauma patients will continue. He doesn’t anticipate the loss of $7 million per year to result in cuts to the trauma care program the hospital provides.

“We have no plans to do anything like that with our program. It’s such a community asset and we want to continue to be here for the community. We’ll figure out a way to provide the service,” Bruff said.

Bruff said the new auto insurance law will be phased in by 2021. He said there are some unknowns out there, but he remains steadfast in his mission to provide care for the patients he serves.

“Devil is in the detail. And it’s such a new law we’re not yet sure of all of the details and all the impact. There will be some but again, I want to reiterate our commitment to the community to provide our services including trauma,” Bruff said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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