North Carolina Workers Comp Coverage Still Private
The North Carolina Legislature decided just a few months to ban all public disclosure of Workers Comp coverage info records. At that time, it really did not make sense to me when I can pull up Workers Comp policy information in so many states.
I could understand the concern if something akin to medical information on a certain injured employee was accessed online. Going from almost full disclosure to an outright ban on WC coverage information really does not make that much sense to me.
As I mentioned in previous posts, if it not were not for the previous partial disclosure, the newspaper reporter would not have uncovered over 30,000 uninsured companies in North Carolina. The NC Industrial Commission used to have a spiffy website where anyone (especially an injured employee) could research what company to contact about a WC claim that needed to be filed or one that was already filed with the Commission.
That site was swiftly taken down after the passage of SB 237 in March. With states such as California and West Virginia (and many more states) allowing at least limited access to policy info, I had thought North Carolina would have rebooted the access web page eventually.
Over the weekend, I read an article that pointed out the push by certain officials calling for the access to info being allowed as it was in the past. This may have been a case of the NC Legislature passing bills before thinking through the full impact of the new legislation.
One could agree that this access should not be allowed by anyone with a computer. However, it has functioned very well in other states. California’s rating bureau – the WCIRB – started to allow online access to Workers Comp policy info last year. I have yet to see any backlash from the full access.
In my humble opinion, the access harms no companies or individuals except possibly the 30,000 Workers Comp scofflaw companies that have still not been reigned in for their actions. The Workers Comp Coverage Info for that group remains critical.
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