Hot Topics in Workers Compensation Update

Posted Date: October 08, 2018
    

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By Laura Kersey
Division Executive—Regulatory & Legislative Analysis

NCCI continually monitors issues that could potentially impact the workers compensation system. This update and our Hot Topics in Workers Compensation Update - Webinar on Demand highlight the latest legislative activity.

Legislative Overview for 2018

This year, NCCI tracked more than 800 state and federal workers compensation-related bills and monitored almost 200 workers compensation-related regulations. Legislation impacting workers compensation coverage for first responders continued to be a hot topic with more than 100 bills considered. The first responder bills addressed compensability for certain cancers and other diseases as well as compensability for post traumatic stress disorder.

 

Legalization of Marijuana

At least 25 states considered legislation to legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes this year; however, only a few states, including Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Vermont enacted laws. At this time, there are nine states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and three states, Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska, that have not legalized marijuana in any form.

 

Opioids

In 2018, almost every state introduced legislation related to prescription drugs and about 20 states considered legislation addressing prescription drugs in workers compensation. Arizona and Hawaii passed legislation this session to address the use of opioids in workers compensation.

 

Gig Economy

In 2018, nine states considered legislation defining the term “marketplace contractor” to classify certain on-demand workers as independent contractors. Five of those states—Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and Tennessee—passed legislation in 2018.

 

Air Ambulances

There is pending federal legislation which is intended to preserve state authority to regulate network participation, reimbursement, and balance billing of air carriers providing air ambulance services.

In 2018, Florida, Kentucky, and Missouri introduced, but did not pass, air ambulance legislation.

 

For more information, check out additional articles featured under Workers Compensation Insights on ncci.com for the latest in cutting-edge research, thought-provoking articles, and unmatched analysis.

This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for informational purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. Use of this article for any purpose other than as set forth herein is strictly prohibited.