HB1508 (2018) Detail

Relative to wage compensation under workers' compensation.


HB 1508-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2018 SESSION

18-2194

01/03

 

HOUSE BILL 1508-FN

 

AN ACT relative to wage compensation under workers' compensation.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Richardson, Coos 4

 

COMMITTEE: Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill changes the weekly compensation for temporary total disability, permanent total disability, and temporary partial and permanent partial disability.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

18-2194

01/03

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen

 

AN ACT relative to wage compensation under workers' compensation.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Weekly Compensation Changed for Temporary Total Disability.  Amend RSA 281-A:28, I and II to read as follows:

I.  If an employee’s average weekly wage is [30] 40 percent or less of the state’s average weekly wage, weekly compensation shall be the full amount of that employee’s average weekly wage.  However, the maximum allowable weekly compensation rate under this paragraph shall not exceed [90] 100 percent of the employee’s after tax earnings as determined by RSA 281-A:15.

II.  If an employee’s average weekly wage is over [30] 40 percent of the state’s average weekly wage, weekly compensation shall be [60] 66 2/3 percent of that employee’s average weekly wage or [30] 40 percent of the state’s average weekly wage, whichever is greater, but in no event shall weekly compensation exceed 150 percent of the state’s average weekly wage rounded off to the nearest dollar as the commissioner determines for the year in which the injury occurred.  In no event shall the maximum weekly compensation rate exceed 100 percent of the employee’s after tax weekly earnings as determined under RSA 281-A:15.  For purposes of this section, the department of employment security shall establish the state’s average weekly wage for the immediate preceding calendar year to be effective the following July 1.

2  Weekly Compensation Changed for Permanent Total Disability.  Amend RSA 281-A:28-a, I and II to read as follows:

I.  If an employee’s average weekly wage is [30] 40 percent or less of the state’s average weekly wage, weekly compensation shall be the full amount of said employee’s weekly compensation rate.  However, the maximum allowable weekly compensation rate under this paragraph shall not exceed [90] 100 percent of the employee’s after tax earnings as determined pursuant to RSA 281-A:15.

II.  If an employee’s average weekly wage is over [30] 40 percent of the state’s average weekly wage, weekly compensation shall be [60]66 2/3 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage or [30] 40 percent of the state’s average weekly wage, whichever is greater, but in no event shall weekly compensation exceed 150 percent of the state’s average weekly wage rounded off to the nearest dollar as determined by the commissioner for the year in which the injury occurred.  In no event shall the weekly compensation rate exceed 100 percent of the employee’s after tax weekly earnings as determined pursuant to RSA 281-A:15.  For the purposes of this section, the state’s average weekly wage shall be established by the department of employment security for the immediately preceding calendar year to be effective the following July 1.

3  Weekly Compensation Changed for Temporary Partial Disability.  Amend RSA 281-A:31 to read as follows:

281-A:31  Compensation for Temporary Partial Disability.  If the disability for work resulting from an injury is partial, and the employee is able to work but has not yet reached maximum medical improvement, the employer, or the employer’s insurance carrier, during such disability, but not for the first 3 days of disability unless the disability continues for 14 days or longer, shall pay to the injured employee a weekly compensation equal to [60] 66 2/3 percent of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage before the injury and the average weekly wage which he or she is able to earn thereafter; but in no instance shall the weekly compensation exceed the amount set forth by the compensation schedule in RSA 281-A:28.  Payments shall not continue after the disability ends, nor longer than 262 weeks; and, if the partial disability begins after a period of total disability, the period of total disability shall be deducted from such total period of 262 weeks.

4  Weekly Compensation Changed for Permanent Partial Disability.  Amend RSA 281-A:31-a to read as follows:

281-A:31-a  Compensation for Permanent Partial Disability.  Where the disability for work resulting from an injury is permanent but partial in nature, the employee has reached maximum medical improvement, is able to return to work, and there is an impairment in accordance with the “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment” published by the American Medical Association as set forth in RSA 281-A:32, the employer, or insurance carrier, during such disability shall pay to the injured employee a weekly compensation equal to [60] 66 2/3 percent of the difference between his or her average weekly wage before the injury and the average weekly wage which he or she is able to earn thereafter.  However, in no instance shall the weekly compensation exceed the amounts set forth by the compensation schedule in RSA 281-A:28.  Payments shall not continue after the disability ends, nor longer than 262 weeks; and if the partial disability begins after a period of total disability, the period of disability shall be deducted from such total period of 262 weeks.

5  New Paragraph; Workers’ Compensation; Medical Payment Schedules.  Amend RSA 281-A:24 by inserting after paragraph V the following new paragraph:

VI.  The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to establishing a medical payment schedule which shall require medical payments at the rate of 150 percent of the Medicare reimbursement rate.

6  New Subparagraph; Workers’ Compensation; Rulemaking Added.  Amend RSA 281-A:60, I by inserting after subparagraph (aa) the following new subparagraph:

(bb)  Medical payment schedules in accordance with RSA 281-A:24, VI.

7  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2019.

 

LBAO

18-2194

11/2/17

 

HB 1508-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to wage compensation under workers' compensation.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Various Governmental Funds

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill would increase the workers’ compensation wage replacement rates for injured employees, establish a workers’ compensation medical fee schedule based on 150% of the Medicare reimbursement rate, and grant rulemaking authority to the Department of Labor to implement the schedule.

 

The Department of Administrative Services administers the workers’ compensation program for state employees.  In FY 2016, State employees were paid $2,417,657 in temporary total disability, permanent total disability, permanent impairment awards and lump sum agreements.  This amount is based on the current compensation rate of 60% of the average weekly wage.  If paid at the higher rate of 66-2/3%, the Department calculated expenditures would increase by $161,258.  In addition, the State paid $4,576,656 toward workers’ compensation medical care for state employees.  If paid at 150% of the Medicare reimbursement rate, the Department assumes there would be significant but indeterminable savings because current laws do not provide insurance carriers or managed care networks with meaningful opportunities to negotiate provider rates.

 

The Department of Labor indicates the bill would increase state, county and local expenditures by an indeterminable amount.  For the purpose of discussion, the Department offers data on the payouts made in calendar year 2016 and the possible increases based on this bill:

• State – Calendar year 2016 payouts = $2.56M, potential increase = $281K.

• Counties – Calendar year 2016 payouts = $105K, potential increase = $11.5K.

• Local Municipalities – Calendar year 2016 payouts = $1.38M, potential increase = $152.3K.

The Department assumes there would be no impact on state, county or local revenues.   

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association assumes this bill may lead to an increase in municipal expenditures for worker’s compensation premiums.  The Association has no basis for estimating the potential increase.  There would be no impact on municipal expenditures.

 

The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill would have no impact on county revenues or expenditures.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Departments of Administrative Services and Labor, New Hampshire Association of Counties and New Hampshire Municipal Association

 

Links

HB1508 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 31, 2018 House Hearing
Feb. 21, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 6, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1508 Revision: 1904 Date: Nov. 6, 2017, 7:48 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2018 Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services HJ 1 P. 13
Jan. 31, 2018 Public Hearing: 01/31/2018 11:00 AM LOB 307
Feb. 21, 2018 Executive Session: 02/21/2018 LOB 307
Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 21-0; CC)
March 6, 2018 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/06/2018 (Vote 21-0; CC) HC 9 P. 27
March 6, 2018 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 03/06/2018 HJ 6 P. 48