§ 28-33-44. Continuation of health insurance benefits.
(a) No employer shall cancel but shall be obligated to continue to provide any employee's health insurance benefits for a period of two (2) years from the date of the employee's receiving weekly compensation benefits pursuant to a preliminary determination or a decision of the workers' compensation court, or the filing at the department of a memorandum of agreement or notice of direct payment for injuries occurring on or before February 28, 1986. The provisions of this section shall not apply if:
(1) The employee is no longer receiving compensation pursuant to a preliminary determination or a decision of the workers' compensation court;
(2) Has accepted suitable alternative employment;
(3) Fails to pay any contribution toward the healthcare benefits that he or she was required to pay prior to the injury;
(4) A petition for a commutation or a structured settlement, as defined in § 28-33-25, is granted;
(5) The employee is a beneficiary of an equivalent health insurance policy of his or her spouse; or
(6) The employee is employed in the construction industry and is a participant in a multi-employer welfare plan as defined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1002 et seq., and which the Internal Revenue Service has determined under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., is tax exempt as to contributions received and as to benefits received by its participants.
(b) In the event any employer fails to comply with the provisions of this section, and not its workers' compensation insurance carrier, then the employer shall be liable for hospital and medical costs that would have been paid by the hospital or medical insurance plan afforded the employee had he or she been covered by the plan.
(c) The provisions of this section shall only apply to claims for injuries sustained on or after July 1, 1984.
(P.L. 1984, ch. 142, art. 5, § 6; P.L. 1984 (s.s.), ch. 450, § 3; P.L. 1985, ch. 425, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 507, § 7; P.L. 1987, ch. 242, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 79, § 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 206, § 4; P.L. 1992, ch. 31, § 5; P.L. 2019, ch. 218, § 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 248, § 1.)