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The Connecticut General Assembly is considering a bill that would require workers compensation payers to cover detoxification treatment for injured workers who were prescribed opioids for more than a year.
The latest version of H.B. 5883, introduced by Rep. Michael Winkler, D-Vernon, in January, was filed with the state Legislative Commissioners’ Office on Friday and is opposed by state business organizations, according to public-hearing filings with the state.
The Hartford, Connecticut-based Connecticut Business & Industry Association in February submitted a letter to the state that injured workers are already offered drug rehabilitation services as needed and that workplace health insurance already covers detoxification programs, per state law enacted in 2018.
Also filed with the Legislative Commissioners’ Office was S.B. 164, a bill with three sponsors that would provide comp coverage for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder if certain provisions are met.
Per the bill, filed on March 18, “in the case of any police officer or firefighter, is diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder by a licensed and board certified mental health professional, and determined by such professional to be originating from the police officer or firefighter visually witnessing the death or maiming of one or more human beings and which is not the result of some natural cause and the visual witnessing of such death or maiming, or the visual witnessing of the aftermath of such death or maiming, occurred while the police officer or firefighter was engaged in the line of duty.”
If passed, both would go into effect on Oct. 1.
Mediation programs in two states are bringing together opioid-addicted workers and workers compensation insurers to create plans to get these workers off drugs.