Shell Bill Filed in Arkansas Would Allow Alternate Workers’ Comp System

March 29, 2017

An Arkansas state senator has filed a bill that would create an alternate system for benefits to injured workers.

As yet, SB 653 by Sen. David J. Sanders contains no specifics beyond a statement of purpose, which is “to establish an optional alternative system to finance and administer employee benefits compensation regarding health, disability, and death benefits permissible under Arkansas 30 Constitution Article 5, ยง 32 and through the Employee Retirement Income.”

Sanders represents District 15, which includes Conway County and parts of Faulkner, Perry, Pulaski and Van Buren counties.

In early March, Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr approved a decrease in workers’ compensation cost of 8.4 percent in overall loss in the voluntary market and a 10.6 percent rate decrease in overall average assigned risk, effective July 1.

Kerr credits Act 796 of 1993 with providing the impetus for the aggressive health and safety programs which are currently in effect in many workplaces in Arkansas.

Arkansas had the third lowest workers’ compensation premium of all states in 2016, according to the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking by the Oregon Department of Business and Consumer Services.

Source: Arkansas General Assembly

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