Lawmakers Consider Major Workers’ Compensation Changes
The Connecticut General Assembly is considering major changes to the workers’ compensation system, with costly implications for employers.
The Labor and Public Employees Committee has approved two workers’ compensation bills that will negatively impact employers.
SB 913 provides PTSI benefits to all employees. CBIA opposed the bill, given its broad scope and the high cost of claims-related litigation.
Myers told the committee that “Connecticut businesses would see an increased risk in their insurance policies as well as an increase in premiums” if the legislation was enacted.
The committee also approved HB 6550, which requires an administrative law judge to sign off on a Form 36 when prescription drug benefits are cut.
While CBIA supports the premise of this bill, there are concerns it will create more unnecessary hearings, slowing down a well-functioning workers compensation system.
PPD Bill Amended
The legislature’s Judiciary Committee approved an amended version of HB 6797, addressing concerns that the bill would dramatically increase the cost of additional permanent partial disability payments.
CBIA working with other industry groups to voice opposition to the bill, which originally proposed a five-times increase in PPD payments and increases the maximum benefits period from 520 weeks to 780 weeks.
CBIA’s Pete Myers told the committee “these changes will undoubtedly drive up workers’ compensation costs for businesses and municipalities.”
Myers also warned that a provision granting the workers’ compensation commissioner the ability to determine if an injury was “substantial enough” to provide additional benefits “is an attempt to undo the 1993 reforms.”
“Those 1993 reforms passed in 1993 have played a key would role in our state, which has seen nine consecutive years of rate cost declines,” he said.
The committee amended the bill, which now calls for a study.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Pete Myers (860.244.1921).
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