Workers’ comp issues to watch in 2018 and why the deck seems stacked against injured employees.
We are always looking out for our clients. This includes watching trends and developing strategies to deal with insurance company abuse. It seems like the deck is getting even more stacked against people hurt at work. Here are three issues to watch in 2018.
1. Cheaper workers’ comp premiums
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has announced the pure premium advisory rate for workers’ comp insurance will drop by an average of 9.3% for 2018. Michigan employers have saved $446 million thanks to a 45% reduction since 2011. These cost savings do not happen in a vacuum and people hurt on-the-job are getting less benefits.
2. More restrictions on opioids
Opioids have been a hot topic in workers’ comp for several years. WCA rules prohibit reimbursements for prescriptions beyond 90 days unless detailed physician reporting requirements and other strict processes are met. Present Trump has even declared a public health emergency and additional federal regulations are sure to follow. Unfortunately, we are seeing insurance companies latch on to this crisis and stop paying for opioid treatment entirely.
3. Post-injury wage earning capacity
Post-injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC) is a big problem in workers’ comp. This is when the insurance company says a disabled employee can find another job and uses “phantom wages” to reduce weekly checks. We expect this defense to be raised much more frequently in 2018.
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.