South Carolina Option
In 2015, South Carolina Option legislation was introduced (H.B. 4197). Since that time, legislative sponsors and supporters of a South Carolina Option have been seeking input from stakeholder groups and businesses, to ensure that the legislation incorporates improvements that provide better protections and outcomes for employees, while providing employers the flexibility to tailor quality injury benefit compensation programs to their businesses.
Some of the legislation’s highlights are:
- Equal to or Better Benefits: The original House Bill 4197, mandates all Option injury benefit plan levels to be equal to or better than those provided by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation laws, with on dollar or duration caps on medical, and no combined benefit limits. In addition, all wage replacement percentages are further increased by 20% if subject to federal income and employment taxes.
- Admitted Casualty Insurance Carriers: Same as workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation and Option insurance carriers compete head-to-head with the insurance company having the ability to offer both products (occurs todays in Oklahoma and Texas).
- Stratify Qualification Filing Fees Based on Employer Size: Fairness for small business and designed to avoid any negative fiscal impact.
- Additional Insurance Carrier and Employer Surcharge: A further surcharge of premiums for Option employers further adds to the legislation’s positive fiscal impact.
- Workers’ Compensation Commission: The same commission hearing workers’ compensation claims can also hear Option injury benefit plan disputes.