Boca Raton, FL – NCCI recently released a new Insights brief highlighting 2019 legislative trends and hot topics, and previewing activity in 2020.
NCCI continually monitors issues that could potentially impact the workers compensation system. In 2019, NCCI tracked almost 700 state and federal workers compensation-related bills and monitored almost 280 workers compensation-related regulations. More than 100 bills were enacted, and 143 regulations were adopted.
NCCI is already monitoring more than 500 bills in 2020 and expects that number to grow as the state legislative sessions progress. So far, the 2020 legislative trends and hot topics look very similar to 2019.
First responder legislation was the top trending issue in 2019. NCCI tracked 126 bills related to first responders. The bills addressed compensability for certain cancers and other diseases, as well as workers compensation coverage for mental injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Nine states passed legislation addressing workers compensation coverage for first responders with mental-only injuries and one state passed a bill to study the issue.
In 2020, NCCI is already monitoring 92 first responder bills. To date, 36 of those bills address mental injuries.
Reimbursement for medical marijuana in workers compensation was a hot issue in 2019. Several states considered legislation to authorize the reimbursement of medical marijuana in workers compensation. Rhode Island passed legislation that does not prohibit reimbursement but does not require it either.
In 2020, NCCI is already tracking marijuana-related legislation in 22 states. Kentucky has proposed legislation addressing the issue of reimbursement for medical marijuana in workers compensation.
NCCI monitored more than 40 bills that either proposed implementing a single-payer health insurance system or studying the issue. Several states considered legislation that specifically referenced workers compensation or medical benefits for injured workers.
Three states—Colorado, Oregon, and Vermont—passed legislation to study the issue. In 2020, NCCI is tracking single-payer bills in seven states so far.
Independent Contractors/Gig Economy
Last year, NCCI monitored about 45 bills that address independent contractors and the classification of employees. California passed AB 5, which adopted a three-part test for determining whether workers are employees or independent contractors, and Arkansas enacted legislation that codified a 20-factor test from an IRS ruling to determine whether workers are employees or independent contractors.
NCCI is currently tracking independent contractor legislation in 10 states, including California, Illinois, Missouri, New York, and Virginia.
View the full webinar from NCCI: 2020 Legislative Sessions: Workers Compensation Preview.
NCCI also has a new Legislative Activity online resource, including an interactive map that links directly to legislative activity on state and federal websites. The page is a source for all workers compensation- related legislation from bill introduction throughout the legislative process.