Hot Topics in Workers Compensation
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By Channel NCCI February 15, 2018

NCCI continually monitors issues that could potentially impact the workers compensation system. Watch this video for a quick look at NCCI’s coverage of these topics:


Hot Topics to Watch

As the 2018 legislative sessions begin across the states, new legislative proposals are already on the horizon that may shape many of the topics on our radar. Here are some of the issues that NCCI will track throughout the year as they continue to evolve.

Legalization of Marijuana

States continue to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use; however, it is still illegal and classified as a Schedule I drug at the federal level. On January 4, 2018, the US Department of Justice rescinded the former administration’s nationwide guidance regarding enforcement of federal marijuana laws. However, in 2018, Vermont already passed legislation legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, and 25 other states are considering legalizing either medical or recreational marijuana.


As reports of addiction and abuse escalate, several states are considering legislative and regulatory measures to address the growing concern. Throughout 2018, we may see states take increasing measures to control the use and distribution of opioids. This could include adopting drug formularies, providing limitations on physician dispensing and repackaged drugs, promoting treatment, and limiting supplies of painkillers.

Air Ambulances

The high cost of air ambulances—and who pays for that cost—is under discussion right now at the state and federal levels. Most recently, a Texas appellate court determined that the federal Airline Deregulation Act preempted Texas state law regarding workers compensation reimbursement rates for air ambulances. Air ambulance legislation is also pending in Michigan and Kentucky.


The year 2017 was a quiet one for “opt-out,” or alternative workers comp mechanism proposals, but some predict that state legislative efforts will continue.


Cybersecurity continues to be an industry priority. New York adopted new cybersecurity regulations in 2017 and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) finalized a new data security model law, which the US Treasury Department commented on in its October 2017 report on asset management and insurance. At least one state—South Carolina—is considering legislation based on the NAIC model law.

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