Members of the National Federation of Independent Business in Tennessee strongly support major reforms to Tennessee’s workers’ compensation system, according to a recently conducted survey released Monday.
Jim Brown, state director of NFIB/Tennessee, said his group "will support comprehensive workers’ comp reforms to include a tighter definition of injury causation and shifting the resolution of disputed claims to a purely administrative process.”
“Tennessee’s processes are bureaucratic, which leads to high costs for employers and delays in medical treatment, return to work and disability payments for employees," said Brown (pictured). "Gov. [Bill] Haslam’s administration has identified many much needed reforms, and we look forward to working with him and members of the General Assembly to improve our workers’ comp system.”
Brown said NFIB, the state’s largest small business association, also will work with leaders to ensure Tennessee small business owners are guaranteed a fair, impartial appeals process for disputes that arise through tax audits.
“Tennessee taxpayers deserve to have their tax hearing appeals heard by an independent body, rather than the same department that decided the case in the first place,” said Brown, noting most states have established an independent appeals process. “Smaller taxpayers who cannot afford to file a lawsuit especially need a less expensive, expeditious and independent forum. Tennessee can accomplish this important goal with almost no additional bureaucracy.”
Preliminary survey results from NFIB/Tennessee’s 2013 Member Ballot indicate the following:
• 77 percent of members oppose Medicaid expansion, while 11 percent favor and 12 percent are undecided
• 79 percent believe Tennessee should prohibit taxpayer-funded government entities from competing directly with private business, while 11 percent oppose and 10 percent are undecided
• 75 percent believe Tennessee should prohibit local governments from enacting minimum or living wages, while 17 percent oppose and 7 percent are undecided
• Members were split on establishing a state-run health exchange (41 percent support, 38 percent oppose and 20 percent are undecided)
• Members were split on legislation that would require insurance companies to cover oral chemotherapy drugs (41 percent support, 36 percent oppose and 23 percent are undecided).
The 108th Tennessee General Assembly is schedule to convene today.
Keystone Insurers Group has added Nashville-based Spann Insurance as its 15th franchise partner in Tennessee.
Pennsylvania-based Keystone is a property and casualty insurance broker.
Spann Insurance Principal Lee Spann said the partnership will allow the independent insurer, founded in 1959 and based in Berry Hill, to enhance its offerings and programs.
With property/casualty premiums exceeding $1.6 billion, KIG ranked fifth on Insurance Journal's 2011 list of Top 100 privately held property/casualty insurance agencies.
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