Legislative Update on Florida Workers’ Compensation
The Florida Legislature is considering two proposals that would make significant changes to Florida’s workers’ compensation law; House Bill 1399 and Senate Bill 1636. While both bills increase the amount of temporary benefits that are paid to workers injured on the job, the bills are very different in how they address cost drivers in the workers’ comp system.
The House proposal, House Bill 1399, focuses on cutting the costs of providing medical care to injured workers. House Bill 1399 would also authorize the Department of Financial Services to develop a performance rating system to publish insurer performance outcomes online, so that businesses can “comparison shop” for insurance carriers. The bill would also allow insurance companies to reduce the premiums they charge for workers’ comp insurance by 5% from the filed Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) approved rates.
Senate Bill 1636, on the other hand, seeks to reduce costs by limiting the fees paid by employers to attorneys representing injured workers. The Senate bill does not contain the House bill’s proposals that would create the online carrier performance system or the 5% rate deviation.
NCCI has evaluated both bills and determined that, even though they address different cost drivers, both bills would result in an overall decrease in workers’ compensation rates for employers.
Reprinted with the authorization of FUBA