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Connecticut has the green light to establish a task force of legal experts to examine whether payers ought to face fines if they are found to have unnecessarily delayed claims processing for injured workers, among other questions pertaining to the adequacy of the comp system, according to a bill Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law Friday.
Specifically, H.B. 6916 allows for the state to create a group consisting of legal experts and comp experts appointed by state lawmakers, the chairman of the state Workers’ Compensation Commission, the state insurance commissioner, and more, with all appointments ordered to be in place by Aug. 1.
An earlier draft of the bill, passed by the House this month, called for fining payers — the enacted legislation aims to study the issue.
In addition to studying how comp payers affect the claims process, the task force is charged with examining delays possibly caused by other players in the comp scheme, including medical professionals and attorneys.
The task force will also “study methods to expand remedies regarding potential liability for unreasonably contested or delayed workers' compensation claims, and… clarify the law regarding bad faith handling of workers' compensation claims,” according to the final law.
The Connecticut Insurance Department has approved a 17% decrease in rates for workers compensation insurance for 2019, marking the fifth consecutive year that rates have dropped, state Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade announced on Tuesday.