The National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) enumerated the states to watch in 2017, in terms of changes in their legal structure of workers compensation, in its recently released fall report.
At the top of its list is Colorado’s Amendment 69, which would establish ColoradoCare. If approved, the proposed government entity would establish a single-payor healthcare system, which would also cover workers compensation insurance.
Meanwhile, Florida and Arkansas are moving to legalize the use of marijuana, while Massachusetts and Nevada are studying its taxation and regulation.
Also in Arkansas, NCCI reports that organized labor has initiated several measures to be taken up in state legislature, which are expected to increase injured workers benefits and expand compensability standards. There is also a move in the state to amend the constitution to limit lawyer contingency fees in medical injury cases.
In Florida, trade organizations Associated Industries of Florida and Florida Chamber of Commerce have created task forces that will seek legislative fixes to the Supreme Court’s ruling that resulted in double digit workers’ compensation rate increases.
In Oklahoma, some quarters vow to push the opt-out law, despite the state Supreme Court’s ruling that it is unconstitutional. The state’s judiciary is also exerting effort to enforce the ruling across the business community in the state.
Virginia, which currently does not have a medical fee schedule in place, has selected a vendor through the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission to implement a schedule by six state geographic regions by January 2018.
The NCCI fall report also provides data on issues such as legalizing marijuana and the effect of the Affordable Care Act on workers’ compensation.
Payers’ workers comp drug spend declines: survey
Workers’ compensation benefits dip as employer costs increase: report