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Workers’ Compensation Administration

floridaOn March 10, 2016, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed legislation (H.B. 613) amending the state workers’ compensation law. Florida’s workers’ compensation law requires an employer to obtain coverage for their employees that provides for lost income and all medically necessary remedial treatment, attendance, and care resulting from work related injuries and occupational diseases. The Division of Workers’ Compensation within the Department of Financial Services (DFS) provides regulatory oversight of the system. The DFS’ responsibilities include enforcing employer compliance with coverage requirements, administration of the workers’ compensation health care delivery system, collecting system data, and assisting injured workers regarding their benefits and rights.

House Bill 613 contains a variety of changes to the workers’ compensation law. These changes include:

  • Providing for a 25 percent penalty credit for certain employers.
  • Establishing a deadline for employers to file certain documentation to receive a penalty reduction.
  • Reducing the imputed payroll multiplier related to penalty calculations from 2 times to 1.5 times the statewide average weekly wage.
  • Requiring employers to simply notify their insurers of their employee’s coverage exemption, rather than requiring that a copy of the exemption be provided.
  • Eliminating a three-day response requirement applicable to employer held exemption information.
  • Removing the requirement that construction employers maintain written exemption acknowledgements.
  • Deleting a requirement that exemption revocations be filed by mail only.
  • Removing unnecessary information from the exemption application.
  • Relieving employers of the obligation to notify the DFS by telephone or telegraph within 24 hours of any work related death and relying instead on other existing reporting requirements.
  • Removing insurers and employers from the medical reimbursement dispute provision since they meet their adjustment, disallowance, and provider violation reporting duties through other provisions of law.
  • Eliminating fees collected by the DFS related to new insurer registrations and Special Disability Trust Fund notices of claim and proofs of claim.
  • Revising the method for selecting an expert medical examiner.
  • Eliminating the Preferred Worker Program, which has not been used in over 10 years.

The law goes into effect on October 1, 2016.

Read FL H.B. 613

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