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Illinois comp bill aims to tackle ‘excessive’ insurer profits

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Illinois capitol

A bill introduced Wednesday in Illinois would make several changes to the state’s workers compensation code, including introducing protocols for investigating insurer premiums and changing the way cumulative trauma is covered.

H.B. 218 would amend the Employer's Liability Rates Article of the Illinois insurance law, to state that “a premium is excessive if it is likely to produce a profit that is unreasonably high for the insurance provided or if expenses are unreasonably high in relation to the services rendered.” The bill would create procedures for the review of premiums by the Director of Insurance at the request of the insured, which could result in refunds of premium.

The bill would also usher in changes to the way cumulative or repetitive trauma is covered, enabling current employers to seek contributions or reimbursements for care from previous employers. It would also address how multiple spinal injuries must be treated.

In addition to creating an evidence-based drug formulary, a national trend in workers comp, the bill would also make changes to body-part injuries. For example, it would classify workplace injuries to the shoulder as injuries to part of the arm, and injuries to the hip would be considered injuries to part of the leg.

The bill would declare that “accidental injuries sustained while traveling to or from work do not arise out of and in the course of employment,” according to a draft.

If enacted, the legislation would go into effect immediately.

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