With the looming national elections in November, workers’ compensation industry insiders expect increased scrutiny on state programs, including revisions of employee health and claims models. A number of key issues were spotlighted at a webinar held on January 11 by Safety National, one of the leading providers of workers’ compensation insurance nationwide.
According to Mark Walls, the elections promise to have an impact on workers’ compensation insurance providers, as eleven states currently elect insurance commissioners, who can have a direct impact on how premiums are determined. Experts also say that, although tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act have been extended to 2020, there’s a significant likelihood that a new president, Republican or Democrat, will make changes in health care reform.
Industry experts also made note of a trend among employers to view employees as consumers purchasing health care insurance products. With this type of model, employers and insurers are inclined to encourage employees to become more engaged and to tie extra benefits to a healthcare package. Many states are also going to a claims model where injured workers interact with a patient advocate to ensure that they understand all the issues related to treatment, as well as their claim.
There has been some interest in federalizing a workers’ compensation system, as many believe there are too many differences between the different state programs. Currently, there are 14 states that don’t require workers’ compensation for companies with fewer than five employees, as well as 17 states that don’t offer the benefits at all to agricultural workers.
Work Comp Issues to Watch in 2016
New York Workers Compensation Claims Attorneys
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