Veto override will help pay injured workers’ bills

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HOFFMAN

Springfield, IL – The Illinois Legislature has overridden the veto of a bill that will require insurance companies to actually cover the medical costs of workers hurt on the job, closing some longstanding loopholes.
Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) pushed through the bill but it was blocked by Governor Bruce Rauner with an amendatory veto. The Senate voted 55-1 to override the bill on Nov. 14 and the House followed with a 110-2 vote on Nov. 27. Three-fifths majorities were needed in each chamber.
Currently, insurance companies are allowed some discretion in assessing whether to cover the medical costs of employees hurt on the job and are allowed ways to contest whether they must pay. As a result, workers’ medical expenses are not always paid, opening the door to legal disputes between employers, their employees and insurance companies.
Hoffman’s bill establishes a mechanism with which workers’ compensation insurers may be penalized for late payments to medical care professionals tasked with treating injured workers.
It was approved by strong, bipartisan majorities, including a unanimous vote in the Senate, before the amendatory veto.
“When tragedy strikes in the workplace and results in injury, it is incredibly important that we are looking out for the best interests of those who find themselves in unfavorable circumstances through no fault of their own,” Hoffman said. “The purpose of this bill is to hold the insurance industry accountable by requiring them to fork over the medical costs of their policyholders.
“Men and women trying to earn an honest living deserve to have reasonable accommodations and protections in the event that they experience an unforeseen or incidental injury on the job."

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