Boca Raton, FL – NCCI recently released a new Insights article, Focus on Three—Key Legislative Trends in Workers Compensation.
The report provides an update focusing on three important topics:
- Independent Contractors/Gig Economy
- Single-Payer Health Insurance
- Legalization of Marijuana
NCCI previously highlighted these topics in its Legislative Trends—Questions to Consider in 2022 report.
The new report captures the latest developments on these topics as of June 1, 2022, and explains how they could potentially impact the workers compensation system.
Independent Contractors/Gig Economy
Legislative proposals that provide criteria for determining whether a worker is classified as an employee of a company or as an independent contractor continue to be considered.
For example, California enacted legislation to establish a three-part test for determining worker status, known as the ABC test. Since the California legislation was enacted, other states have considered legislation to adopt similar tests.
Gig workers, including transportation network company drivers who work for Uber and Lyft, as well as other marketplace contractors, were the focus of legislation in several states during the 2022 legislative session.
Single-Payer Health Insurance Proposals
The idea of a single-payer health insurance system has been discussed at both federal and state levels for years. To date, no state has fully adopted such an approach; however, several jurisdictions are studying the issue.
Of particular interest are bills that include a reference to workers compensation. In most states that reference workers compensation, the legislation generally contains similar language that directs the board of new state single-payer healthcare programs to develop a proposal for coverage of healthcare items and services covered under the workers compensation system.
Single-payer health insurance is an important topic and all proposals, whether federal or state, raise numerous questions for workers compensation stakeholders.
Legalization of Marijuana
While marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, states continue to legalize it through legislation and ballot measures, and continue to legalize medical marijuana as well.
States continue to grapple with the issue of medical marijuana reimbursement in workers compensation, and are divided as to whether to allow, require, or prohibit reimbursement.
The question of whether workers compensation insurers are required to reimburse, allowed to reimburse, or are prohibited from reimbursing an employee for medical marijuana use to treat a work-related injury or illness directly impacts workers compensation stakeholders and the workers compensation system. For example, state policymakers make initial decisions about reimbursement for medical marijuana in workers compensation and may need to consider adopting a fee schedule (similar to New Mexico) or another mechanism to address reimbursement.
Read the free report: NCCI: Focus on Three — Key Legislative Trends in Workers Compensation