Undoubtedly, Alaska is known for having the most resilient workforce in the U.S. Every employer with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance in Alaska. The Alaska workers’ compensation board exempts self-insurers from having to buy workers’ compensation.
However, Alaska workers’ compensation laws have been put in place to relieve employees and their families of the financial strains resulting from workplace injuries. The regulations also ensure that workers receive medical benefits and compensation for wages lost while recovering. This article covers everything you need to know about Alaska workers comp, or you can see more at https://cerity.com/alaska-workers-comp/.
What Is Covered By The Alaska Compensation Act?
Injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation in Alaska are less likely to be bruises, cuts, and broken bones. The injuries covered are extensive, but here are the most common injuries covered:
- Workplace violence
Despite what you may know, more and more people are assaulted at their workplace each year. So you should seek workers’ compensation if you have been attacked while on the job. Chances are that you will be compensated as per Alaska workers’ comp.
- Back and neck injuries
You may think you don’t have to seek compensation since your injuries aren’t severe. In general, any form of pain in the back or neck resulting from repetitive motion in the workplace is considered an injury; hence workers’ comp can assist you in covering costs associated with physical therapy or other medical bills.
- Vehicle accidents
If you sustained injuries due to work-related activities like driving, you are eligible to be covered by workers’ comp.
- Diseases that develop with time
It takes time for a particular disease to surface. Under Alaska workers’ compensation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is covered.
- Vision and hearing damage
Akin to COPD, your vision and hearing may degrade due to work-related activities – primarily if you work in a noisy environment. As a result, you will benefit if it has been proven that your vision and hearing damage emanates from work-related activities.
Injuries Not Covered
- Any injury that arises out of an act of God
- Short-term illnesses like headaches and influenza
- If an employee has a condition that existed before they were hired
- When a worker contacts a disease that ordinary
- When the injury is a result of self-harm, alcohol, drug abuse, or fighting
As of 1st August 2019, the Alaska workers’ compensation board exempted the following entities from being liable for workers’ compensation.
- Partners in partnership agreements
- Any sole proprietor of a sole proprietorship
- Any member of a limited liability company with a 10% interest ownership
- Religious, municipal, and legally registered executive officers
- Not-for-profit organizations, unless they are elected to be covered by the corporation
- Any nonprofit organization executive officers who have a 10% minimum ownership interest
It is worth noting that the entities mentioned above should maintain workers’ compensation coverage for all their employees, friends, and family members.
Under the workers’ compensation policy, exceptions are limited to only a few. These exceptions are typically based on the scope and type of work individuals perform, but businesses, regardless of their form, do not in any way qualify for exemptions.
Those qualified for exemptions include the following:
- Babysitters who perform their duties on a part-time basis
- Noncommercial cleaners
- Sports officials who oversee amateur events
- Entertainers who serve on a contractual basis
- Taxi drivers on a contractual basis
- Any participant in the temporary Alaska assistance program who engages in activities as per AS 47.27.035;
- Hockey coaches and their team players: they must carry a health insurance plan to be exempted
- Any real estate licensee working on a contractual basis
- Network company drivers
Additional Provisions (Citizens Who Are Covered Under The Act As Employees Of The State)
- High school students, while enrolled in work-study programs
- Volunteer emergency medical technicians
- Public safety officers work under the supervision of the commissioner of public safety
- Members of commissions and state boards
- Firefighters who are volunteers
- Members of the Alaska state defense force while on active duty
- Any individual who engages in civil defense
- Individuals who engage in disaster relief functions
How Do You Obtain Alaskan Insurance Compensation Coverage?
Anyone willing to obtain Alaska workers’ compensation coverage can do so through the involuntary or voluntary commercial market. It is worth noting that Alaska does not have a workers’ compensation state fund. Therefore, business owners should consult their agent or insurance provider to acquire a workers’ compensation policy.
Suppose you are not able to obtain coverage from a commercial carrier. In that case, you should purchase the coverage via Alaska’s assigned risk pool- managed by the NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance)
Alaska State Does Not Allow Reciprocity
All business owners and employers must insure their exposure under the Alaska workers’ comp act. This is because Alaska does not allow reciprocity agreements with other states in the country. Employers outside the state but with employees mainly working in Alaska must insure them.
In addition, any insurer that issues an insurance benefits policy under the Alaska workers comp Act must be a resident of Alaska and licensed by the Alaska division of insurance. The primary purpose of this division is to manage Alaska’s AS 21 insurance codes. If you have any concerns, liaising with the insurance division is prudent.
Where Can You Get Workers’ Compensation For Your Business In Alaska
Obtaining Alaska worker’s compensation is pretty straightforward, regardless of your location in Alaska. You can easily protect your employees from the south-central to the interior or inside passage.
You can purchase a policy from numerous private insurance companies, agents, and brokers. Whether you partner with an agent or broker, ensure they are licensed to operate in the state.
Partner With A Reliable Insurance Provider You Can Trust
In truth, accidents and illnesses happen in the workplace, regardless of the safety measures established by an organization or business. Alaska workers comp comes into play not only as a requirement by the law but to protect workers and business owners from accidents and high costs in case of injuries. It only makes sense to partner with an insurance provider whose priority is to ensure your employees’ safety as well as the safety of your business.