Legislation Workers' compensation State laws

Lawmaker pushes for workers’ comp alternative in South Carolina

David R. Hiott


Columbia, SC – Proposed legislation in South Carolina would allow employers to opt out of traditional workers’ compensation in exchange for alternative insurance coverage.

State Rep. David Hiott (R) introduced the South Carolina Option bill (H. 4197) on May 19. The bill would exempt employers from obtaining workers’ comp insurance if they obtain certification as a “qualified employer” from the South Carolina Department of Insurance. Qualified employers would then have to provide coverage through an alternative injury benefit plan.

The legislation would ensure comparable benefit levels to the current workers’ comp system and act as a “competitive pressure” on the workers’ comp system to provide better outcomes for the employee, according to the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation. ARAWC is a national employer organization advocating employer choice on workers’ comp.

“I firmly believe that markets operate best and participants receive the most benefit possible when competition exists. The South Carolina Option will provide businesses an alternative way to provide occupational injury benefits to their employees,” Hiott said in an ARAWC press release.

Oklahoma and Texas have similar workers’ comp option laws on the books, and Tennessee introduced legislation earlier this year.