There is a plan in place that many companies are taking part in. That plan is to dump workers’ compensation insurance and determine on their own how they will provide care for injured workers. A national association of state lawmakers is investigating the plan.
There are members of insurance committees that are acting as the gatekeepers of their states. The plan is being closely looked at because companies who choose to follow it often give less to their injured employees than they would receive through more traditional means. There is also little oversight with these plans.
Close to every state in the nation requires that anyone who employs workers carries workers’ compensation insurance or somehow provide for the medical care of any injured employee. In return for this coverage, employees are not able to turn around and sue their employers. In Texas and Oklahoma, no insurance is required, and injured employees have been known to have been forced to sue their employers for compensation.
A study found that out of 120 companies in Texas, many typically do not pay compensation to injured workers for more than two years. They often don’t compensate at all for permanent disabilities, and many put a cap on payouts for catastrophic injuries and death. Workers’ compensation insurance, on the other hand, covers injured employees for life if necessary, and will pay death benefits to the injured worker’s children until they have graduated from college. Plan utilized by companies in Oklahoma have similar drawbacks.
In response to these issues, prominent members of Congress have called for federal oversight to protect the rights of injured workers in states that choose to utilize their own plans for coverage.