2018 Legislative Sessions: Workers Compensation Wrap-Up

NCCI continually monitors issues that could potentially impact the workers compensation system. Here we summarize hot topics covered throughout 2018. View the 2018 Legislative Sessions: Workers Compensation Wrap-Up—Webinar on Demand for more information on these topics, plus a high-level overview of legislative, regulatory, and judicial activity across the country.

Legislative Overview for 2018

In 2018, NCCI tracked more than 850 state and federal workers compensation-related bills and monitored almost 270 workers compensation-related regulations. Medical cost management was a top theme of the regulations adopted, including medical fee schedules and treatment guidelines.

First Responders

In 2018, at least 17 states considered legislation addressing workers compensation coverage for mental-only injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Florida and Washington passed legislation to expand benefits for first responders with PTSD. New Hampshire established a commission to study the incidence of PTSD in first responders to explore if it should be covered under workers compensation. Several other states proposed, but ultimately did not pass legislation, including Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Legalization of Marijuana

Following Michigan’s voter-approved ballot measure, the recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 10 states, plus the District of Columbia. Utah, Missouri, and Oklahoma approved ballot measures in 2018 to legalize the medical use of marijuana.

Prescription Drugs

In 2018, almost every state introduced legislation related to prescription drugs and almost 20 states considered legislation addressing prescription drugs in workers compensation. Arizona and Hawaii passed legislation to address the use of opioids in workers compensation, while Indiana and Kentucky passed legislation impacting drug formularies.

Marketplace Contractors

Five states—Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and Tennessee—passed legislation that defines the term “marketplace contractor” to classify certain on-demand workers as independent contractors in 2018. Alabama, California, Colorado, and Georgia considered, but did not pass, similar 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.

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