Workers’ compensation is a required insurance policy provided by the employer to pay employee benefits for job-related injuries. Disability or death that arises out of and in the course of employment. Since each state operates its own workers’ compensation system, employer requirements can vary considerably from one state to the next.
History of the Workers' Compensation Program in the United States
Wisconsin was the first state to enact a workers’ compensation program in 1911. Nine additional states created programs by the end of that year. However, it took until 1948 before all 50 states had launched a workers’ compensation program with Mississippi being the last state to participate.
Workers’ Compensation Laws in Kansas
Kansas mandates that most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. There are several exceptions, such as certain agricultural pursuits, sole proprietors and partnerships, but employers with $20,000 or more in gross annual payroll are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.
Kansas-based employers have the following options available to them to satisfy this requirement:
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Employers can obtain coverage from a licensed insurance agent. The insurance company pays workers’ compensation claims as long as the employer remains current with premium payments. The Kansas Insurance Department regulates all insurance carriers. The majority of employers exercise this option to meet their workers’ compensation requirements.
Group Funded Pool
The Kansas Department of Insurance allows employers that meet specific statutory requirements to create a self-insurance program to insure claims arising from any of the member companies.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation administers a self-insurance program for employers, but they must be able to prove to the state they have the financial resources to pay any claim that could arise.
Professional Employer Organization (PEO)
Another option employers have is to work with a professional employer organization (PEO) to meet their workers’ compensation obligations. Axcet HR Solutions, a leading PEO based in Kansas City, offers comprehensive workers’ compensation services for employers who are looking to cost-effectively procure workers’ compensation coverage and improve their overall workplace safety and compliance efforts.
Workers’ Compensation Laws in Missouri
Missouri requires employers with 5 or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, that number drops to one employee in the construction industry. Employers who do not meet the minimum employee threshold or qualify for other exemptions from the law can (and should) purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Otherwise, these employers leave themselves exposed to potential employee lawsuits.
Missouri employers may purchase workers’ compensation coverage from a private insurance company authorized to sell it by the Missouri Department of Insurance. Employers who cannot procure insurance from an authorized insurance company can procure coverage through the State’s assigned risk pool managed by Traveler’s Commercial Casualty Company. Purchasing workers’ compensation insurance through an assigned risk pool can be cost-prohibitive for many small and mid-sized employers and is therefore usually the last resort to obtain coverage.
The good news is that Missouri employers can work with Axcet HR Solutions to meet their workers’ compensation obligations.