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Unemployment Compensation for Military Spouses

On June 9, 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed legislation (H.B. 1142) amending the state’s unemployment compensation law. The law provides that the spouse of a military service member will not be disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits if he or she resigns employment to relocate with his or her spouse pursuant to an order of permanent change of station.

The law goes into effect on August 1, 2016.

Read LA H.B. 1142

Mandated Health Benefits – Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

On June 8, 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed legislation (S.B. 476) regarding health insurance coverage for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). The law requires every hospital, health, or medical expense insurance policy in the large group market as defined in present law to include coverage of diagnosis and treatment for TMJ and associated musculature and neurological conditions.

The coverage must be subject to the same conditions, limitations, precertification, prior authorization, referral procedures, co-payment, and co-insurance provisions that apply coverage for diagnosis and treatment involving other bones or joints of the human skeleton.

The law applies to all new policies, plans, certificates, and contracts issued on or after January 1, 2018. The law further requires existing policies, plans, certificates, and contracts to include coverage for TMJ by January 1, 2019.

Read LA S.B. 476

Criminal History Questions by State Employers

On June 8, 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed legislation (H.B. 266) preventing state employers from inquiring about a prospective unclassified employee’s criminal history until after an interview or a conditional offer of employment is made.

The law does not prohibit a state employer from considering the criminal history of a prospective employee in making the final determination of whether to employer the person.

In considering the criminal history of a prospective employee, the state employer may consider the following:

  • The nature and gravity of the criminal conduct.
  • The time that has passed since the occurrence of the criminal conduct.
  • The specific duties and essential functions of the position and the bearing, if any, that the criminal conduct will have on the ability of the prospective employee to perform one or more of those duties or functions.

The law does not apply to positions in law enforcement or correction or to positions for which a criminal background check is required by law.

The law goes into effect on August 1, 2016.

Read LA H.B. 266

Mandated Health Benefits – Prescription Eye Drops

On May 26, 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed legislation (S.B. 258) regarding health insurance coverage for prescription eye drops.

The law requires that any health insurance plan or policy issued or renewed in this state on or after January 1, 2017 provide coverage for the costs of refilling a topical ophthalmic prescription. The law prohibits denial of a refill request under the following circumstances:

  • The refill for a 30-day supply is requested between 23 and 30 days from the original date the prescription was distributed to the insured or the date the most recent refill was distributed to the insured, whichever is later.
  • The refill for a 60-day supply is requested between 46 and 60 days from the original date the prescription was distributed to the insured or the date the most recent refill was distributed to the insured, whichever is later.
  • The refill for a 90-day supply is requested between 69 and 90 days from the original date the prescription was distributed to the insured or the date the most recent refill was distributed to the insured, whichever is later.

The law also:

  • Requires the prescriber to indicate on the original prescription that additional quantities are necessary and provides that the original prescription not exceed the number of additional quantities necessary for treatment.
  • Limits the refills to a quantity not to exceed the remaining dosage initially approved for coverage, provided the limited refills do not limit or restrict coverage with regard to any previously or subsequently approved topical ophthalmic prescription.

Read LA S.B. 258