Jefferson City, MO – In the final week of the session, which concluded Friday, May 17, Missouri’s General Assembly passed several bills important to insurance consumers. In addition to making it easy for consumers to access their insurance policy, lawmakers also passed important reforms (SB 1) to address the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund.
For several years lawmakers have been unable to reach agreement on resolving problems with the state’s Second Injury Fund. However, the General Assembly reached a compromise with SB 1. The bill limits the types of claims that can be run through the Second Injury Fund and the amount that can be recovered. It also clarifies that the workers compensation system is the exclusive remedy for the majority of occupational diseases, except for mesothelioma. For claims involving mesothelioma, employers will be able to choose coverage through the workers compensation system; use a special risk pool; or handle the case through the standard litigation process.
The legislation provides that the Second Injury Fund shall impose a supplemental surcharge not to exceed 3 percent of net premiums from 2014 to 2021, in order to maintain the fiscal solvency of the fund. The legislation also allows greater flexibility in rating by allowing the use of individual risk premium modification rating plans.