Governor Walker signed the Workers’ Compensation House Bill 79 at the Alaska AFL-CIO Biennial Convention in Fairbanks this past week. Long before the bill was signed, we thoroughly reviewed and mapped out the changes this bill will have on Workers’ Compensation in the state of Alaska.

While the industry continues to evolve, you can be assured that Northern Adjusters is on top of the latest regulatory developments. We will constantly evaluate the potential impact they may have on our business.

We’ve outlined five noteworthy changes below in House Bill 79:

  1. AS 23.05.067 Increases (Administration of Workers’ Safety & Compensation Program) service fees for insurers, self-insured, and uninsured from 1.82% of premium to 2.5% of premium.

  2. Housekeeping language that updates the electronic submissions to the Board rather than mailing documents. (The language ‘File with’ is replacing ‘SEND TO’)

  3. AS 23.20.098 Expansion and update of document versions and reference materials for the Board to adopt or amend regulations. (Relevance to medical/fee schedule)

  4. AS 23.30.205 Injury combined with pre-existing impairment – No new SIF claims can be presented for injuries or death occurring after 8/31/2018, and must be submitted before 10/1/2020.

  5. AS 23.30.230(a)(12) For persons not covered – added a person employed as an Independent Contractor (not covered), and conditions when a person is considered such.

Based on the new policies in this bill, Northern Adjusters has addressed the changes as well as other necessary claim handling solutions for Alaska:

  • We are prepared to provide secure/private electronic transmittal of required documentation to the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board. 

  • We have active representation on the Medical Services Review Committee to impact and ensure positive changes for Alaskan workers, businesses and insurers.

  • We are available to work with employers to update pre-employment questionnaires to eliminate the Second Injury Fund Reimbursement language. We recognize the importance of a pre-employment questionnaire regarding a person’s prior health or disability history for determining whether the employee has the physical or mental capacity to meet the documented physical or mental demands of the work, as acknowledged under AS 23.30.247, and relevant in determining entitlement to benefits under AS 23.30.022 (False statements by employee as a bar to benefits).

  • We continue to perform annual Workers’ Compensation Act training for our adjusters to maintain the highest standard of claim handling in Alaska.

With any modifications or new regulations that come up in our industry, Northern Adjusters is committed to providing the most relevant, up-to-date information and service based on the needs of our clients.

To learn more about the key changes in this bill, the full legislature is available here.


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