Do you ever wonder how statutory changes to the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act come about? The answer is that people suggest changes to their legislative representatives. Those people can include associations of people, too, like the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Manufacturers Association, the Insurance Institute of Indiana, the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board, the Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana State AFL-CIO, the Indiana State Building Trades and many other organizations. Your Indiana Self-Insurers Association participates in that process on your behalf as well. But, we need to know what YOU want; you are OUR people.
Here are some of the things that other people want right now:
- Increased Average Weekly Wage maximum
- Increased Temporary Total Disability and Permanent Partial Impairment compensation
- Increased reimbursement rates for worker’s compensation medical treatment
- Decreased reimbursement rates for worker’s compensation medical treatment
- Medical bill negotiation based on a “reasonable” amount for every billing
- Employer “opt-out” of worker’s compensation system
- Employee choice of medical care and right to change doctors
- Independent medical examinations of employees for any reason at employer expense
- Inclusion of ambulatory surgery centers within the W/C “fee schedule”
- Increased legislative funding for W/C Board
- Employer credit for asbestos trust fund recoveries
In the last 35 years or so the consumer price index has increased 554% and Indiana worker’s compensation benefits have increased 1274%. 35 years ago the indemnity portion of the benefit represented about 2/3 of the cost of coverage and the medical portion of the benefit represented about 1/3 of the cost of coverage. Today, the indemnity is 18% of the cost and the medical is 82% of the cost. There are lots of reasons for these changes. But to some extent, they are a reflection of “people” getting what they want.
Your ISIA representatives need to know what you think and what you want. Please contact Robert Fanning, Executive Director ([email protected]) with your suggestions for improvements to our Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.