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Bill would expand comp for bodily fluids ‘critical exposure’

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New Hampshire lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a proposal that would require workers compensation to cover prophylactic treatment for critical exposure suffered by workers in public safety and health care who come in contact with such body fluids as blood and saliva.

H.B. 589 expands the state’s legal definition of “critical exposure” under its workers comp law, which already requires an employer or insurer to pay all expenses associated with preventive medical treatment for emergency response and public safety workers who have experienced such exposure.  

The bill states that the New Hampshire Municipal Association has said that “by expanding the definition of critical exposure, the law may require workers compensation to cover post-exposure treatment in more cases, but immediate post-exposure treatment may reduce long-term medical costs.”

 A net increase or decrease in medical costs may affect workers’ compensation rates paid by municipalities.  

The bill was referred to Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee and if passed would go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.