Council lends support to bills that would benefit SMCAS

By By JAN GRIFFEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Niles City Council gave its support Monday night to bills before the Michigan House and Senate which, if passed, would substantially ease the financial burden of our area's ambulance service.
The bills -- Senate bills 296 and 297 and House bills 4437 and 4438 -- would direct health insurance companies to issue two party checks for ambulance services, rather than the single party check for those services now issued to the insured party.
Bill Weimer, third ward city councilmember and the council's liaison on the Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service board, said the ambulance service suffers a default rate of about 50 percent on the cost of services it provides because insurance benefits intended for insurers to use to pay their medical bills aren't finding their way to the ambulance service.
If insurance companies would make their benefits checks payable to the ambulance service that provided the service, as well as the insured, SMCAS and other ambulance services would have an opportunity to receive payment for the services they render.
In other business Monday night, the council:
re-appointed Joseph Grathwohl to a three-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

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