Kansas workers' compensation insurance
Kansas law requires every business with employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance. This policy covers the cost of medical treatment for injured workers.
Workers' compensation insurance covers the cost of work-related injuries. It's required for all Oklahoma businesses that have full-time and/or part-time employees, unless they are self-employed or qualify for an exemption.
What are the requirements for workers’ compensation coverage in Kansas?
Each state has different workers’ compensation laws, and in Kansas, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for virtually all public sector and private employers with a payroll of more than $20,000.
The Kansas workers’ comp statute is broad, but if employers fall under this category, they must provide workers' compensation coverage for both full-time and part-time employees.
There are, however, a few situations where businesses are exempt from providing workers’ comp, including:
- An employer that has a payroll of $20,000 or less
- Businesses with certain agricultural workers
- The business is has realtors working as independent contractors
- Fire Departments with firefighters belonging to a firefighters’ relief association that has waived coverage under the state’s workers’ compensation law
- Certain owner-operator vehicle drivers (e.g., freight truckers) who have their own occupational accident insurance
Do Kansas business owners need to include themselves under a workers’ comp insurance policy?
Workers' compensation requirements depend on the ownership status of an individual in their business.
For instance, independent contractors and sole proprietors are not required to carry workers' comp coverage. However, if their company has employees, they must comply with the rules of the state’s workers compensation act for covering them. The same applies for members of limited liability companies (LLCs) and business partners.
Corporate officers who have a 10% or greater ownership share also have the option of excluding themselves from coverage. On the other hand, officers who have less than a 10% ownership share are considered employees and must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
If any corporate officers or LLC members wish to be exempt from coverage, they must file a form with their workers’ compensation insurance company.
Regardless of whether it’s required, business owners would be wise to carry workers' compensation, as health insurance providers might deny a claim for injuries that happen on the job.
Can certain employers and employees elect to participate in a business's workers’ comp plan?
Should any employers or employees who are normally exempt desire coverage, Kansas does offer flexibility for them to opt into a company’s workers’ comp plan. This option applies to:
- Corporate officers with a 10% or greater ownership share
- Employers wanting coverage for volunteers or other workers not required to participate
- Sole proprietors
- Volunteer directors, officers, or trustees in nonprofit entities
Regardless of an exemption status, the high cost of medical bills would make it a smart business decision to purchase workers’ compensation coverage.
How much does workers' compensation insurance cost in Kansas ?
How does workers’ comp work in Kansas?
Workers' compensation covers the cost of required medical services in the event that an employee suffers a workplace injury or develops an occupational illness. The health care provider and treating physician must be approved by the employer. This policy also provides two-thirds of the employee's gross average weekly wage up to a certain limit, starting after a one-week waiting period.
Workers' compensation benefits can include:
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Medical benefits, such as emergency treatment or physical therapy
- Survivors' benefits
For example, if an IT tech or software developer is diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome due to keyboard overuse, your workers' comp policy would pay for their medical treatment, including long-term medication and physical therapy.
Or, if an employee at your IT consulting firm trips in the office stairwell and suffers a concussion, then your workers' comp policy would pay for their ambulance ride and emergency room visit.
Most workers' comp policies include employer's liability insurance, which helps cover legal expenses if an employee blames their employer for an injury. However, the exclusive remedy provision in most workers' comp policies prohibits an employee from suing their employer once they accept workers' comp benefits.
The Kansas Department of Labor's Workers Compensation Division regulates workers' comp in accordance with state law.
How is workers' comp purchased in Kansas?
Employers have a few options when it comes to purchasing a workers' comp policy in Kansas.
Kansas businesses can buy workers' comp from a private insurer. With TechInsurance's easy online application, it’s quick and efficient to compare quotes from top-rated insurance companies.
If a small business is unable to get insurance from commercial insurers, they can purchase it through the Kansas Workers’ Compensation Insurance Plan (Assigned Risk Plan), which is administered by the Kansas Insurance Department. You can access this last-resort coverage through your local insurance broker.
Employers can also get workers’ compensation through self-insurance and a group-funded pool. To self-insure, employers must demonstrate to the Kansas Division of Workers’ Compensation that they have the financial ability to cover any workers’ comp claims that may arise.
Employers who wish to join a group-funded pool, which has multiple employers as members, must obtain the permission of the Kansas Insurance Department.
What are the penalties for not having workers’ comp insurance in Kansas?
Any Kansas employers that fail to maintain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees, or fail to pay for expenses related to work injuries and illnesses, could be subject to civil penalties equal to twice the annual workers’ comp premium, or $25,000, whichever amount is higher.
The State of Kansas can also serve a cease operation order to a business for failure to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees.
Workers’ comp settlements in Kansas
A workers’ compensation settlement is an agreement between an injured employee, their employer, and the company insurer that benefits both the employee and the employer. This agreement will terminate a workers’ compensation claim.
Employees who reach a settlement with their Kansas employer may elect to receive the value of their claim as a lump sum, or as a stream of recurring payments based on the calculated lump sum (known as a structured settlement). In both approaches, employers will be free from liability for any future payments, which often includes medical payments.
Workers’ compensation statute of limitations in Kansas
Under Kansas workers' compensation law, the maximum time allowed for employees to file a workers’ compensation claim is 200 days from the date of the work-related accident or illness. Or, it must be made within 200 days after the employer’s last benefit payment in connection with the claim incident.