The New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation System administers benefits to provide for the cost of medical treatment and lost-time wage indemnity for workers who are sidelined by a job-related injury or illness.
New Hampshire employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover all employees in their business. If an employer misclassifies an employee as an “independent contractor” or otherwise fails to provide the required level of workers’ comp insurance coverage, workers injured on the job can still file a claim and if found eligible, will receive the approved range of workers’ comp benefits paid for by the state. The state of New Hampshire has the right to impose penalties and take action to recover costs of workers’ compensation claims from employers who violate state workers’ compensation insurance regulations.
The New Hampshire legislature has the power to modify workers’ compensation regulations, including setting upper limits on allowable costs for medical treatments and procedures (known as a “medical fee schedule”), changing the indemnity rate for lost-time wages (currently set at 60% of weekly wages), and limiting or expanding which workers and injuries are covered by the system. In several states which have implemented workers’ compensation medical fee schedules, there is documented evidence of failures to provide adequate rehabilitative and medical care to injured workers who require intensive treatment or long-term services in order to return to work or manage permanent disabilities caused by a workplace injury.
Pressure to reduce workers’ compensation costs for New Hampshire employers have previously resulted in legislative proposals to institute a state workers’ compensation medical fee schedule, based on unverifiable cost data provided by a private insurance industry vendor. While it may be feasible to consider future legislative adjustments to stabilize workers’ compensation medical costs in New Hampshire, any changes to the current system must be based on reliable, comprehensive measurements of actual in-state costs of providing medical treatments to injured workers.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
New Hampshire Department of Labor: