Workers’ comp reform comes to Illinois

June 29, 2011

Melrose Park, IL – A major workers’ compensation reform bill that supporters say will save Illinois businesses millions of dollars and offer enhanced protection for injured workers was signed into law June 28.

Several provisions overhauling the current system are in the bill, including:

  • The medical fee schedule is reduced 30 percent, saving employers up to $500 million.
  • Physicians and arbitrators will be required to use American Medical Association standards when determining impairment and disability.
  • More protections exist for injured workers, including “enhanced” enforcement against employers who fail to maintain workers’ comp coverage.
  • Reforms to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission will apply ethical rules to arbitrators, who must be licensed attorneys.

When Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed the reform legislation (H.B. 1698) into law, he touted it as having broad support, including from employer organizations. However, the Illinois State Medical Society warned the new law could hinder timely access to medical care for injured workers, trigger higher costs and delay injured workers from returning to work.