48-146.03. Workers' compensation insurance policy; deductible options; exception; liability; insurer; duties; prohibited acts; violation; penalty.

(1) Each workers' compensation insurance policy issued by an insurer pursuant to the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act:

(a) Shall offer, at the option of the insured employer, a deductible for medical benefits in the amount of five hundred dollars to two thousand five hundred dollars per claim in increments of five hundred dollars; or

(b) May offer, at the option of the insured employer and the workers' compensation insurer, a deductible for all amounts paid by the insurer as long as the deductible is not more than forty percent of the insured employer's otherwise applicable annual workers' compensation insurance premium at rates approved for the insurer but not less than fifty thousand dollars.

The insured employer, if choosing to exercise one of such options listed in this subsection, may choose only one of the amounts as the deductible. The provisions of this section shall be fully disclosed to each prospective purchaser in writing.

(2) The deductible form shall provide that the workers' compensation insurer shall remain liable for and shall pay the entire cost of medical benefits for each claim directly to the medical provider, shall remain liable for and pay the entire cost of benefits, claims, and expenses as required by the policy irrespective of the deductible provision, and shall then be reimbursed by the employer for any deductible amounts paid by the workers' compensation insurer. The employer shall be liable for reimbursement up to the limit of the deductible.

(3) A workers' compensation insurer shall not be required to offer a deductible if, as a result of a credit investigation, the insurer determines that the employer does not have the financial ability to be responsible for the payment of deductible amounts.

(4) A workers' compensation insurer shall service and, if necessary, defend all claims that arise during the policy period, including those claims payable in whole or in part from the deductible amount, and shall make such reports to the compensation court of payments made, including payments made under the deductible provisions, as may be required by the compensation court.

(5) A person who is employed by a policyholder which chooses to exercise the option of a deductible policy shall not be required to pay any of the deductible amount, and any such policyholder shall not require or attempt to require the employee to give up his or her right of selection of physician set out in section 48-120. Any violation of this subsection shall be a Class II misdemeanor.

Source:Laws 1990, LB 313, § 2; Laws 1992, LB 1006, § 94; Laws 2005, LB 238, § 12.