House Bill 1182 – Worker’s Compensation
Author: Rep Matt Lehman (R-Berne)

Provides for worker’s compensation purposes that an employee who leaves work to serve as a volunteer firefighter or member of a volunteer emergency medical services association is considered an employee of the firefighting unit while in the performance of duties as a volunteer firefighter or volunteer member. Increases the maximum amount of burial expenses that an employer must pay under the worker’s compensation act for the burial expenses of a covered employee who dies from an injury by an accident arising out of the employee’s employment from $7,500 to $10,000.

Chamber Position: Support

The Latest: Passed the Senate without an amendment by a vote of 48-0 and is now eligible for conference committee (bill was amended in committee last week).  

Chamber Action/Commentary: As mentioned previously, HB 1182 most likely will become the vehicle bill to address worker’s comp benefit increases of 2% that were in Sen. Karen Tallian’s (D-Portage) SB 358, which will probably not be heard in the House Employment and Labor Committee. Discussion in the hallway has been that if there is a worker’s comp benefit increase, it will most likely be tied to a cap on reimbursement rates for ambulatory surgical centers. However, capping the remainder of all providers that were not included in the reimbursement rates for hospitals a few years ago has been discussed. Representative Lehman has indicated that he will not move any benefit increase without a corresponding benefit for employers – something the Chamber has staunchly advocated for – but it is still uncertain as to what he will ultimately do. He may let the worker’s comp market stabilize for one more year and do nothing now, and then return next year and go after all providers.

Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or email: [email protected]