Legislature(2009 - 2010)BELTZ 211

03/03/2009 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 104 WORKERS COMP. MEDICAL TREATMENT FEES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 104 Out of Committee
+ SB 79 MED BENEFITS OF DISABLED PEACE OFFICERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 79(STA) Out of Committee
*+ SB 80 EXTENDING VETERINARY BOARD TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 80 Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
          HB 104-WORKERS COMP. MEDICAL TREATMENT FEES                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
2:00:30 PM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR PASKVAN announced HB 104 to be up for consideration.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CONRAD  JACKSON,  staff to  Representative  Olson,  sponsor of  HB
104, explained that this bill has a zero fiscal note.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LINDA  HALL,  Director,  Division   of  Insurance,  Department  of                                                              
Commerce,  Community &  Economic  Development  (DCCED), said  that                                                              
this  is a  time-sensitive  bill. On  March  31 of  this year  the                                                              
medical  fee schedule  cap expires,  which would  mean there  is a                                                              
potential  for  no  limit  on the  medical  fee  portions  of  the                                                              
workers' compensation benefits.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The first  item in their  packets is a  technical analysis  of the                                                              
sunset  done  by   the  National  Council  on   Compensation.  She                                                              
referred them  to the last page,  which showed the impact  of this                                                              
expiration.  The Council is  the statistical  agent that  does the                                                              
filings  of   the  workers  compensation   loss  costs   with  her                                                              
division.  They  have  estimated  a minimum  impact  of  plus  5.2                                                              
percent.  That is  already in  the  filing that  she has  approved                                                              
effective  January 1. She  is hoping  if they  can pass  this bill                                                              
and put  this cap back,  there can be  some reduction  in workers'                                                              
compensation premium.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALL said most  of the rest of their packets  are illustrative                                                              
of the fact that  Alaska for the last three years  has been number                                                              
one  in  the country  in  workers'  compensation  premiums.  These                                                              
premiums  are a  burden  on employers;  they  are dropping  health                                                              
insurance and not  doing wage increases. There  are comparisons on                                                              
how Alaska is  higher than the national average  in the percentage                                                              
of  benefits  in  the workers'  compensation  system  that  go  to                                                              
medical  cost. This  bill is  not a  permanent solution;  it is  a                                                              
patch.  It would  cap the  fee schedule  with  the consumer  price                                                              
index (CPI), also in their packet.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR PASKVAN closed public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MEYER  thanked Ms.  Hall  for her  work  and  said he  is                                                              
comfortable with the bill.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:06:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER  moved  to  report   HB  104  from  committee  with                                                              
individual recommendations  and attached  fiscal note.  There were                                                              
no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB104_Bill_Packet.pdf SL&C 3/3/2009 1:30:00 PM
HB 104
SB79_Bill_Packet.pdf SL&C 3/3/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 79
SB80_Bill_Packet.pdf SL&C 3/3/2009 1:30:00 PM
SB 80