A new report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance found that three government trends can affect the industry going forward: independent entrepreneurs / gig finances, single-pay health insurance and the legalization of marijuana.
Legislative proposals that would establish criteria for determining whether an employee is classified as an employee of a company, entitled to employee compensation or as an independent contractor continue to be considered. A California law that sets up a test to determine worker status has prompted two states to consider similar measures this year: Rhode Island and Vermont.
Gaming workers, including drivers of transportation networks working for Uber and Lyft, as well as other marketplace contractors, were the focus of legislation in several states during the 2022 Legislative Assembly, including Alabama, South Dakota and Washington. The Massachusetts Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue this summer.
A single-payment health care system has been discussed at both the federal and state levels for several years. To date, no state has fully adopted such an approach; But several jurisdictions are studying the issue. NCCI said that of particular interest are bills in California, Kansas, New York and Rhode Island that include references to workers̵7; compensation.
And while marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, states continue to legalize it through legislation and voting measures. In 2022, five states introduced legalization with mixed results: Rhode Island passed a bill, Maryland will ask voters in the next election, and the proposals in Delaware, Missouri and New Hampshire did not go ahead.
Mississippi passed a bill to legalize the medical use of marijuana, while medical marijuana legislation failed in Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska and North Carolina.
States continue to grapple with the issue of compensation for medical marijuana among workers: Mississippi, Rhode Island and South Dakota passed legislation requiring it, and other states, including Kentucky, Maine and Nebraska, introduced legislation stating that insurance companies are not required to compensate for medical marijuana.
New Jersey and New York are considering legislation that requires compensation for medical marijuana in certain circumstances.