February 24, 2015

What the Tennessee Legislation SB721 Could Mean for Workers' Comp

, Claims Management

Tennessee state government is weighing the options and will most likely pass a bill (SB721) making it an opt-out state like Texas and Oklahoma.

According to the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation (ARAWC), Tennessee SB 721 looks to amend Tennessee’s current workers’ compensation requirements through a “free market alternative to traditional workers’ compensation insurance offerings in the state” in hopes of decreasing the costs of workers’ compensation.

 What You Need to Know About SB 721

  • Introduced by lawmakers known as the “Tennessee Employee Injury Benefit Alternative.”
  • Private employers would be given the option to opt-out of private insurance plans, and instead create and implement their own plan.
  • If private employers choose to implement their own plan, they have two options:
    • Fully insured occupational injury benefits plan
    • Self-insured occupational injury benefits plan
  • Employers would be required to provide typical workers’ compensation benefits, such as temporary total disability, medical benefits, permanent loss or loss of use of a scheduled member and death.
  • Much like the Oklahoma Option, employers would have to submit an application and receive confirmation from the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance in order to participate in the Option.


SB721 Timeline

  • February 11 – Filed for introduction
  • February 12 – Introduced, passed on first consideration


What Does This Mean to You?

Tennessee could follow in the opt-out steps of Texas and Oklahoma, allowing Tennessee employers to file with the state to implement their own workers’ compensation plans.