Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Laws Keep Changing

Tennessee Workers' Compensation Laws Keep ChangingTennessee Workers’ Compensation laws might be changing once again as legislators introduced the new Employee Injury Benefit Alternative measure last month. The bill is designed to allow private employers to opt-out of the state’s workers’ compensation program by designing their own individual plans. Independent plans would have to meet the minimum requirements by providing injury benefit plans that are less comprehensive than state-mandated workers comp insurance.

Current Tennessee Workers’ Compensation regulations require employers provide:

  • Temporary Benefits – The maximum weekly benefit rate for injuries occurring July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 is $932.80 or 110% of the state’s average weekly wage.
  • Permanent Benefits – The maximum weekly benefit rate for injuries occurring July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 is $848.00 or 100% of the state’s average weekly wage.
  • Minimum Weekly Benefit – The minimum weekly benefit rate for injuries occurring July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 for both temporary and permanent benefits is $127.20.

Proponents of the new legislation claim that these changes would make workers comp more efficient and cut costs for payers. Stipulation in the new regulations would change the way permanent partial disability benefits are calculated and creating a medical advisory committee in an effort to reduce medical costs. Passage of the new bill would make Tennessee the third state to give employers the option to set up individual workers’ compensation programs behind Texas and Oklahoma.

Municipalities in Tennessee can already forgo traditional workers comp insurance and set up their own injury benefit plans, yet very few actually do so. Reportedly 98% of municipal still opt-in to the state set workers comp standards.

If you are a business owner or municipal leader looking to navigate the complex waters of Workers Comp in Tennessee, we can help. At Barnes Insurance Agency, we offer Tennessee Workers’ Compensation programs to meet the requirements of the state and your business operation. We even offer specific municipality insurance programs that are flexible and affordable. To learn more about our TN Insurance agency and our offerings, contact us today at (866) 733-5424.

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