Summary of Workers’ Compensation Reform (HB1698)

June 8, 2011

The intended effect of HB1698 is to reduce employer medical costs, limit indemnity payouts on certain claims including loss of trade cases, strengthen rules on fraud, and provide more equity in Commission decisions and awards.

Some of the changes apply to accidents that occur on or after September 1, 2011; others apply to existing cases where benefits accrue after September 1, 2011.

This is being touted as a major piece of business-friendly legislation. The governor is expected to sign HB1698 into law very soon.

Medical Treatment and Costs

Permanent Disability and Wage Loss Claims

Intoxicated Employees

For accidents that occur after September 1, 2011, claims are not compensable where intoxication is proximate cause of injuries or constitutes a departure from scope of employment. 0.08 percent is presumed intoxicated and presumed proximate cause of accident. Employees can overcome rebuttable presumption of intoxication by showing intoxication is not proximate cause or sole proximate cause of injuries.

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits

Where an employee is working light duty and earning less, then benefit paid is equal to two-thirds of the difference between the average amount that the employee would be able to earn in the full performance of his/her duties in the occupation in which he/she was engaged at the time of the accident and the gross amount which he/she is earning in the modified job provided to him/her by the employer or in any other job that the employee is working.

"Carve Outs"

Pilot program through Department of Labor for construction companies and designated labor organizations to establish ADR agreements

Insurance Reporting Compliance

Fraud and Abuse

Arbitrators and IWCC Procedures

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