Illinois Legislature goes back to the drawing board on reform efforts
In the lame duck session, lawmakers approved an income tax increase that raises individual tax rates from 3 to 5 percent and corporate taxes to 7 percent or higher. Business groups that had pushed for passage of workers' comp reforms in the 96th session say it's even more important now.
S.B. 1066, which would have overhauled the workers' comp system, was left on the table when the session ended. According to the Illinois Chamber Employment Law Council, key provisions of the legislation included:
- Strengthening the utilization review process.
- Capping benefits for wage differentials at the age of 67 or five years after the injury. Current law extends the benefits for a worker's lifetime.
- Change choice of initial physician to one selected by the employer and allow employees to see one additional physician plus referrals if they are dissatisfied. Current law allows employees to see multiple doctors in a referral chain and allows an employer to merely recommend care.
- Make alcohol or illegal drugs the presumed cause of the injury if it occurred while the worker was under the influence. Current law allows an employee to get benefits regardless of the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Cap the amount charged for medical implants at 25 percent above the net manufacturer's invoice.
- Decrease the medical fee schedule by 15 percent.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
February 7, 2011
Copyright 2011© LRP Publications