HB 615 Modifies various provisions relating to workers' compensation

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -

SCS/HB 615 - This act provides that an independent contractor providing application of agricultural materials used in crop dusting, seeding, spraying, or fertilizing operations from an aircraft are not subject to liability under certain workers' compensation laws.

The act further exempts volunteers of a tax-exempt organization which operates under the standards of Section 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code from workers' compensation provisions.

For purposes of certain provisions relating to disputes over the reasonableness of medical charges under workers' compensation laws, the phrase "notice of dispute" includes, but is not limited to, any writing evidencing that the payment is considered to be full payment of the fee or charge.

Currently, a notice of dispute of a medical charge is required to be sent by certified mail. This act removes that requirement and only requires that such notice be sent by regular mail.

The Division of Workers' Compensation is permitted to pay:

1) Second Injury Fund liabilities for physical rehabilitation payments;

2) certain medical expenses for injuries to employees of uninsured employers occurring prior to January 1, 2014; and

3) wage loss benefits for wages lost from certain injuries occurring prior to January 1, 2014.

The act modifies provisions relating to workers' compensation insurers by repealing language permitting workers' compensation insurers to develop an individual risk premium modification rating plan which prospectively modifies premiums based upon individual risk characteristics which are predictive of future loss.

Currently, the experience rating plan prohibits an adjustment to the experience modification of an employer if the total medical cost does not exceed $1,000. This act changes that amount to 20% of the current split point of primary and excess losses under the uniform experience rating plan.

The act permits construction employers to submit payroll information to the advisory organization that makes the uniform classification system in order to calculate the premium credit under the Missouri contracting classification premium adjustment program.


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