One of the largest states in the nation, with some of the highest workers’ comp costs, has a new law intended to cut businesses a break.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the comprehensive overhaul of Illinois’ workers’ compensation system into law. The measure will take full effect by Sept. 1.
Illinois currently has some of the highest workers’ comp premiums in the nation.
Among the reforms in the law:
- a 30% reduction in the amounts paid to doctors and hospitals for treating injured workers (the amounts currently paid in Illinois are some of the highest in the U.S.)
- new standards set by the American Medical Association for determining impairment and disability
- new guidelines for treatment an injured worker can receive
- language to make it harder for workers who were drunk when they were injured to win claims
- more safeguards to prevent abuse of the system
- formation of medical networks so companies can choose doctors who don’t cater as much to workers, and
- a cap on awards for carpal tunnel syndrome.
It’s estimated companies will see 10-20% drops in their workers’ comp premiums. Employers will save a total of at least $500 million a year.
As you might expect, a group of lawyers who represent injured workers says the new law goes too far. Some business leaders say it doesn’t go far enough.
What do you think is needed to cut workers’ comp premiums for companies? Let us know in the Comments Box below.