The first Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark webinar of 2017 provided our thoughts on the 20 Workers’ Compensation Issues to Watch in 2017. What follows is a summary of the initial 10 issues discussed:
1. Election impact
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under President Obama felt state workers’ compensation systems needed reform, and they were prepared to recommend minimum benefit standards to the states. President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, has been a vocal opponent of many federal labor regulations. For now, any talk of the federal government getting involved in state workers’ compensation issues seems to be on hold.
2. Health care reform
What Influential Factors Paint the Workers’ Compensation Landscape?
(WorkersCompensation.com) – Wage replacement and medical benefits are not what they used to be.
Lawyers, doctors and insurance experts agree, that not only have workers’ compensation guidelines changed over the last decade, but some of the modifications have even changed the face of the industry.
Even though workers’ compensation is somewhat simple, set up with both medical and financial benefits, “over all the states, the workers’ comp environment comes under different rules and regulations and that is why it has become more challenging over the last ten years,” according to Ed Gillman, president of Gillman Insurance Problem Solver out of Alpharetta, GA.
Esquire Nathan Woody, partner at Corales & Woody, LLC, out of Decatur, GA confirms Gillman’s point, using the “Peach State” as an example. “In the past in Georgia, there used to be a 400-week cap on disability payments for standard claims, and medical coverage was still considered for the life of the injury,” Woody said. Read more