If you have been keeping up with industry news, it has been an interesting time to watch developments in workers compensation insurance, especially as concerns two key issues: the spread of Ebola and the use of medical marijuana.
The Spread of Ebola
As Ebola continues to spread across West Africa (and other cases begin to crop up globally), increased Americans have begun asking important questions regarding Ebola. How can I catch it? What are some early signs of having contracted the disease? What are my chances of recovery with preliminary treatment?
One question that has not been asked often enough is this: is Ebola covered under my worker’s compensation package? According to experts, these two factors much be accounted for for Ebola to be covered under most plans:
First, the illness or disease must be “occupational,” meaning that it arose out of the course and scope of employment. Second, ultimate compensability of an illness or disease is dependent upon the work or occupation of the employee; the illness or disease must arise out of or be caused by conditions “peculiar” to the work (Insurance Journal).
The Use of Medical Marijuana
The first factor to understand is that that not all states have passed legislation making the use of medical marijuana legal. (As of this writing, Florida’s legislation is still pending.) Further complicating the issue is the disagreement among medical professionals regarding the extent and helpfulness of marijuana as treatment. Those two issues aside, Helios has this to say regarding workers compensation and medical marijuana:
The complexities of such discussions require careful review of the current knowledge and evidence from trusted sources across the healthcare spectrum… As the landscape continues to change and as the regulatory, medical and payor communities define their position on medical marijuana, a PBM can be a valuable ally in understanding the intricacies of this challenge.
All of that to say this: the industry is currently in a state of flux. It will be interesting to see where the trends take us and what standards (if any) will be handed down from the Federal Government to regulate the interplay of workers compensation and the use of medical marijuana.
If you want to discuss options for workers compensation insurance, please call us at 561-732-9305 our quoting hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. In addition, you can request a quote online. Please remember, We Handle All the Work, While You Save!
Robert Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates are vested members of the community who are committed to doing business face-to-face and being your insurance advocate in times of need.