HB 3: WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DEATH BENEFITS

A bill pertaining to workers’ compensation death benefits and first responders proposing that in addition to all current death benefits provided under current statute, that the employer/insurer also cover the costs of health insurance for the decedents dependents for one year after death or after the employer-sponsored health insurance terminates.

WCCA Position & Talking Points:

Notwithstanding the Committee’s gratitude and respect for our courageous first responders, we oppose this bill:

  1. Workers’ compensation systems are not designed as health care replacement vehicles for injured employees, much less the dependents of fatally-injured deceased employees.
  2. Carving out an exception for a small percentage of the labor market to receive special treatment is a dangerous “slippery slope” and one that opens all employers to additional exposure for these additional benefits on an equal protection of the law argument.
  3. In a period of declining state revenues and progressive budget constraints in both the public and private sectors, the proposed legislation has the potential to place a significant additional burden on employers that threatens the economic health of the industries upon which the economy so heavily relies.