March 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the workers’ compensation system in Michigan.
Commenting in a video commemorating the anniversary, Michigan Workers’ Compensation Director Kevin Elsenheimer said workers’ comp “is really one of the success stories in Michigan, because here’s an example where government does something right. Workers’ compensation in Michigan is applauded both by labor and by management as a system that works for Michigan workers and also makes Michigan an attractive place to do business.” He added that while there have been “tweaks here and there” the goal of the system remains the same as it was 100 years ago: to help injured workers recover and get back to work.
Amerisure’s Ted Wagner agreed that, “Michigan is a good place to write workers’ comp. … The economy’s been improving. It’s helped all the businesses here and it certainly is a positive for workers’ comp.”
Reforms to Michigan workers’ comp system implemented over the past year include:
- A provision that allows employers to direct the care for a work injury or illness for the first 28 days of medical care.
- Statutory changes that require the some contested workers’ comp claims to first be assigned to mediation: unrepresented claimants; health care services rules hearings – 104Bs; medical-only claims; no record of insurance coverage; and vocational rehabilitation hearings.