Well, we are less than a week until Christmas and less than two weeks to 2019. With a new year comes goals, resolutions, and new laws on the books. Minnesota state officials released a handful of important new laws that you should know take effect in 2019. Here's a quick rundown of some new laws you should get familiar with. 

  • Protecting children from identity theft
    • The law is intended to keep children safe from identity theft. The law will extend the security freeze protections to individuals under age 16 by allowing credit reporting agencies to freeze existing credit reports or to develop credit reports on young account-holders and subsequently freeze those reports. The law, mostly effective Jan. 1, 2019, gives credit reporting agencies 30 days to act after the consumer requests a freeze or lift.
  • City Solid Waste Collection Changes
    • Currently, if a local government seeks to implement a solid waste collection method it must establish a committee to identify and evaluate potential new methods. That evaluation will be expanded to include an analysis of residents' ability to choose a solid waste collector based on cost, services provided and other factors, and the impact of collection vehicle operation on city streets and alleys. The new law will also affect collector negotiations by extending the period during which local governments are required to negotiate with licensed haulers from the current 60 days to "at least" 60 days.
  • Step therapy protocol established
    • Step therapy is a way doctors prescribe new medications, but it often doesn't directly correlate to out-of-pocket expenses. That means patients don't always start with the least-expensive medication before moving to more expensive ones. This will be a protocol that will give doctors and patients another tool in deciding which medication to choose. The law also allows doctors and patients to request an override to the health plan written protocol. It is effective Jan. 1, 2019, and applies to health plans offered, issued or sold after that date.
  • Presumptive PTSD for public safety personnel

    • As part of a new law relating to workers’ compensation, if a peace officer, firefighter, corrections officer or some medical personnel on active duty is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and has not been diagnosed with the mental impairment previously, the mental impairment will then be presumed to have been due to the nature of employment. This section is effective for employees with dates of injury on or after Jan. 1, 2019. Per the law, “the mental impairment is not considered an occupational disease if it results from a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement, or similar action taken in good faith by the employer.”

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