What issues to watch in 2019?

Michigan workers’ comp attorney lists his issues to watch in 2019.

The 2018 election cycle is finally over. It unknown what changes will be coming to workers’ comp during the next year. Workers’ comp reforms have not been kind to employees hurt on-the-job. Here are some issues to watch in 2019.

1. Insurance premiums

Michigan’s pure premium rate is set to decline 8.3 percent for 2019. This is the eighth consecutive year of decreases saving employers an estimated $492 million. These huge savings are not happening in a vacuum and people hurt on-the-job are getting less benefits.

2. Opioids

The Detroit Free Press reported that opioid deaths reached a new high last year. The Michigan Legislature has now enacted a 7-day limit for opioid prescriptions when treating for acute pain. Workers’ comp rules already prohibit opioid reimbursement beyond 90 days unless specific procedures are met. We expect the opioid epidemic to continue in 2019.

3. PIWEC

Post-injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC) continues to be a huge problem in workers’ comp. Insurance companies use “phantom wages” from made up jobs to reduce weekly checks. A good-faith job search can be used to prove entitlement to full wage loss benefits. We hope additional clarification on what constitutes a good-faith job search will be forthcoming in 2019.

4. Rising cost of medical care

Medical costs under workers’ comp are some of the lowest in the United States. Will this trend continue in 2019?

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Study finds medical costs under workers’ compensation low in Michigan

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by theilr.

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