New legislation typically goes into effect on January 1st, July 1st, or October 1st in a calendar year. Thus, with the start of 2018 comes a number of new laws that will take effect tomorrow, January 1st. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. The full list of laws can be found by clicking here, though I have listed some noteworthy pieces of legislation below. Please note that providing this information does not indicate my support or opposition to any individual law.
Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse
Public Act 17-131
Requires prescriptions be transcribed electronically to safeguard against over prescribing, reduce the maximum number of days for a prescription from seven days to five days for minors, and allow patients to request drugs other than opioids be prescribed.
Enforcing Child Support Payments
Public Act 17-27
Requires an employer to promptly notify the dependent (i.e., spouse, former spouse, or child owed the support) or judicial branch’s Support Enforcement Services, as directed, if an employee whose income is withheld to enforce a child support order makes a workers’ compensation claim.
Ensuring Honors and Benefits for Veterans
Public Act 17-83
Broadens the eligibility criteria for certain veterans’ benefits, allows additional people to receive a service ribbon and medal, be buried in a Connecticut veterans cemetery, or have veteran status indicated on their driver’s license or identity card.
Allowing Health Insurance Coverage for Fertility Preservation for Insureds Diagnosed with Cancer
Public Act 17-55
Expands the range of people eligible for infertility coverage under certain individual and group health insurance policies. By law, these policies must cover the medically necessary costs of diagnosing and treating infertility. It covers, for example, (1) basic hospital expenses; (2) basic medical-surgical expenses; (3) major medical expenses; or (4) hospital or medical services, including those provided under an HMO plan.
Reducing Student Costs
Public Act 17-130
Allows the Office of Higher Education, University of Connecticut, the Connecticut State University System, the regional community-technical college system, and Charter Oak State College to each establish guidelines encouraging the state’s public higher education institutions to implement programs that reduce students’ textbook and educational resource costs.
Please pass this information along to those who may benefit from knowing what to expect in the new year in the State of Connecticut. I also encourage you to contact me with any questions or clarifications regarding the implementation of these acts.
Sending my warmest wishes for a happy and prosperous new year! The 2018 Legislative Session will begin on February 7, 2018.