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Nebraska Workers' Compensation Legal Library


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48-146.02. Insurance provider; risk management pool; suspension or revocation of authority to provide compensation insurance; Attorney General; duties; grounds.

(1)(a) If a three-judge panel of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court finds, after due notice and hearing at which the workers' compensation insurer is entitled to be heard and present evidence, that such insurer has failed to comply with an obligation under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice to engage in that type of conduct, the three-judge panel may request the Director of Insurance to suspend or revoke the authorization of such insurer to write workers' compensation insurance under the provisions of Chapter 44 and such act. Such suspension or revocation shall not affect the liability of any such insurer under policies in force prior to the suspension or revocation.

(b) If a three-judge panel of the compensation court finds, after due notice and hearing at which the risk management pool is entitled to be heard and present evidence, that such pool has failed to comply with an obligation under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, as set out in subsection (1) of section 44-4319, with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice to engage in that type of conduct, the three-judge panel may suspend or revoke the authority of the pool to provide group self-insurance coverage of workers' compensation liability pursuant to the Intergovernmental Risk Management Act. Such suspension or revocation shall not affect the liability of any such risk management pool under the terms of the agreement forming the pool in force prior to the suspension or revocation.

(c) If a three-judge panel of the compensation court finds, after due notice and hearing at which the self-insurer is entitled to be heard and present evidence, that such self-insurer has failed to comply with an obligation under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice to engage in that type of conduct, the three-judge panel may revoke the approval of such self-insurer to provide self-insurance coverage of workers' compensation liability pursuant to section 48-145. Such revocation shall not affect the liability of any such self-insurer under an approval by the compensation court to self-insure in force prior to the revocation.

(d) The Attorney General, when requested by the administrator of the compensation court, may file a motion pursuant to section 48-162.03for an order directing a workers' compensation insurer, risk management pool, or self-insurer to appear before a three-judge panel of the compensation court and show cause as to why the panel should not take action pursuant to this subsection. The Attorney General shall be considered a party for purposes of such motion. The Attorney General may appear before the three-judge panel and present evidence that the workers' compensation insurer, risk management pool, or self-insurer has failed to comply with an obligation under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice to engage in that type of conduct. The presiding judge shall rule on a motion of the Attorney General pursuant to this subdivision and, if applicable, shall appoint judges of the compensation court to serve on the three-judge panel. The presiding judge shall not serve on such panel.

(e) Appeal from an action by a three-judge panel of the compensation court pursuant to subdivision (1)(b) or (1)(c) of this section shall be in accordance with section 48-185.

(2) In addition to any other obligations under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, the following acts or practices, when committed with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice to engage in that type of conduct, shall subject the workers' compensation insurer, risk management pool, or self-insurer to action pursuant to subsection (1) of this section:

(a) Knowingly misrepresenting relevant facts or the provisions of the act or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to such act;

(b) Failing to acknowledge with reasonable promptness pertinent communications with respect to claims arising under the act;

(c) Failing to promptly investigate claims arising under the act;

(d) Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable payment of benefits when compensability has become reasonably clear;

(e) Refusing to pay benefits without conducting a reasonable investigation;

(f) Failing to affirm or deny compensability of a claim within a reasonable time after having completed the investigation related to such claim;

(g) Paying substantially less than amounts owed under the act where there is no reasonable controversy;

(h) Making payment to an injured employee, beneficiary of a deceased employee, or provider of medical, surgical, or hospital services without providing a reasonable and accurate explanation of the basis for the payment;

(i) Unreasonably delaying the investigation or payment of benefits by knowingly requiring excessive verification or duplication of information;

(j) Failing, in the case of the denial of compensability or the denial, change in, or termination of benefits, to promptly provide a reasonable and accurate explanation of the basis for such action to the injured employee or beneficiary of a deceased employee;

(k) Failing, in the case of the denial of payment for medical, surgical, or hospital services, to promptly provide a reasonable and accurate explanation of the basis for such action to the provider of such services; or

(l) Failing to provide the compensation court's address and telephone number to an injured employee or beneficiary of a deceased employee with instructions to contact the court for further information:

(i) At or near the time the workers' compensation insurer, risk management pool, or self-insurer receives notice or has knowledge of the injury; and

(ii) At or near the time of the denial of compensability or the denial, change in, or termination of benefits.

(3) In order to determine compliance with obligations under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, the compensation court or its designee may examine the workers' compensation records of (a) a workers' compensation insurer, a risk management pool, or a self-insurer or (b) an adjuster, a third-party administrator, or other agent acting on behalf of such workers' compensation insurer, risk management pool, or self-insurer. The authority of the compensation court pursuant to this subsection is subject to the limitations provided under the work-product doctrine and attorney-client privilege as recognized in Nebraska law.

(4) The compensation court may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement this section.

Source

  • Laws 1971, LB 572, § 16;
  • Laws 1986, LB 811, § 73;
  • Laws 1987, LB 398, § 45;
  • Laws 1999, LB 331, § 2;
  • Laws 2005, LB 13, § 12.

Cross References

  • Intergovernmental Risk Management Act, see section 44-4301.
  • Risk management pool, defined, see section 44-4303.


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