Indianapolis, IN (WorkersCompensation.com) - The Indiana General Assembly ended a very productive 2013 legislative session early Saturday morning having passed workers compensation reform, legislation permitting the use of electronic devices to show evidence of insurance as well as positive uninsured motorist excess liability provisions, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). The legislature also passed bills calling for studies of no pay/no play and litigation financing.
One of the last major insurance issues addressed this session was workers compensation reform. House Bill 1320, if signed by Governor Mike Pence, would put in place a workers compensation hospital fee schedule at 200 percent of Medicare and establish that the maximum pricing for repackaged drugs cannot be higher than the average wholesale price set by the original manufacturer. In addition, the bill places a cap on the price of implants at the actual cost plus 25%.
“Stronger cost containment is much needed in the state's workers compensation system and this legislation, while still very generous to hospitals, is an important step in the right direction,” said Ann Weber, vice president, state government relations for PCI. “The Medicare fee schedule should provide stability and predictability to the workers compensation system, and the repackaged drugs pricing parameter will be an effective tool to control costs. This legislation will begin to put Indiana in alignment with most states by adopting a workers compensation hospital reimbursement schedule based on Medicare rates.”
Earlier this month Gov. Pence signed the PCI-supported Senate Bill 620 that allows for the use of electronic devices in lieu of paper cards for evidence of financial responsibility. Indiana joins 14 other states that now have adopted e-card laws or regulations. “These measures are the wave of the future and is in keeping with customer demands for technology,” said Weber.
House Bill 1190 which specifies that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is not required to be made available under a personal umbrella or excess liability policy is on the governor's desk pending his signature. The legislation requires notice of a removal or reduction of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. However, if the insurer makes the coverage available, it allows the insurer to determine the coverage limits to be made available.
PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $190 billion in annual premium, 40 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 38 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.