Businesses and workers in the state of Texas face enormous costs to operate properly. Energy costs are continually rising as is the cost to comply with regulations at the local, state and federal level. Depending upon the industry a business operates in, there may be additional insurance coverage a business must purchase to properly protect the business.
If an employee is injured on the job; in order to get the benefits, they deserve, they may have to interact with their boss, one or more doctors’ offices, the insurance agency who provides workers compensation insurance and the carrier that provides the coverage.
As a result of House Bill 2082, first responders who are injured on the job will have a much easier time accessing their workers’ compensation insurance benefits. The bill sets up a liaison to assist in workers’ compensation claims and disputes. This bill should take pressure off the injured employee, the business community and the insurance industry.
House Bill 2082 was authored by State Representative Dustin Burrows, a republican from Lubbock, Texas. It was created with the help of Mary Duncan, the West Texas Crime Victim’s Coalition President. During the first week of April, Duncan and a few injured first responders testified before the state’s Business and Industry Committee.
Based in large part on their testimony, House Bill 2082 was passed and will create a department within the Texas Department of Insurance. The department will be a part of the Division of Workers Compensation and is designed to serve injured first responders. It will assist injured workers in navigation of the claims process when they are injured on the job. It will also be prepared to, if necessary, assist with any disputes that may arise throughout the claims process.
How will House Bill 2082 impact first responders?
First responders will benefit from this bill in the form of an easier process throughout the workers’ compensation process. Healthcare in this country is complicated. When you add in an additional bureaucratic element in the state workers’ compensation system, the process can be extremely difficult to navigate for an injured worker.
This bill should create a hotline of sorts to direct injured workers to the proper health facility that is prepared to take on the workers’ compensation claim process. Some facilities are better prepared to give referrals to other specialists who are also a part of the workers’ compensation system. This can limit the number of doctors’ visits the injured employee has to make and speed up the essential care they so desperately need.
How will House Bill 2082 impact business owners who provider response services?
Business owners will have an immense burden taken off of their shoulders, because they can now refer the injured employee to this new department set up to care for just these situations. This will more than likely aid in getting the injured worker the care they need to get back to their daily routines.
For most businesses, the workers’ compensation process is something an employee rarely has to use. For this reason, it is common for the management of the business to not be current and up to speed on the best practices for dealing with an injured employee.
Now there is a group whose primary responsibility is to help businesses and injured employees navigate the workers comp system efficiently, allowing the business to focus on the work at hand.
How will House Bill 2082 impact the insurance industry?
The insurance industry will also be relieved of a lot of stress because this department will be able to assist customers through the process instead of the carriers having to take on the entire responsibility. This will lower the amount of injured workers who go to doctors outside of the workers’ comp system.
This should increase the satisfaction of the injured worker and the business owner when they have claims that end up in the workers’ compensation system. Overall this should help the image of Texas Workers Compensation Insurance.
This will free up carriers to help the claims process in other industries and allow them to focus their employees time and energy on other parts of the business.