Posted on May 19, 2014
Reforming the workers compensation insurance laws is a hot topic in many states nationwide so when the State of Michigan recently passed legislation that the Governor approved, employers were all for making changes to the workers compensation system that hasn't been updated for more than 20 years.
Times have certainly changed since the last time Michigan workers' comp laws were passed, but up until the changes, the system was in need of modernization and balance. New regulations require that injured workers with the ability take jobs they can physically accomplish. If they do not accept offered jobs, then they can risk losing their workers' compensation benefits.
Many supporters of the changes believe that the reform brings clarity to workers compensation procedures and will help to reduce workers' comp lawsuits. The goal, of course, is to support injured workers with benefits while they recover and then return them to work as soon as they are able. But employers in the state often experienced confusion when dealing with employee injuries and disability especially when it comes to understanding the different statuses of partial or total disability applied to workers. Michigan business owners often also experienced claims from employees injured while on another job or while off duty. Hopefully, the workers compensation insurance changes will prove to be effective against false claims of injury and outright fraud.
Employers now will be able to have a little longer period to control employee medical treatment, and employees that are able to work now have search requirements in order to maintain benefits.
The cost of workers compensation insurance in Michigan has been higher than many surrounding states. With this year's new changes, Michigan business owners hold out hope that insurance premiums will decrease as the system becomes more streamlined and efficient.