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(1) Subchapter 31 addresses the reopening of medical benefits terminated by operation of law for certain claims that occurred on or after July 1, 2011.

(2) Subchapter 31 does not apply to claims to which any of the following circumstances apply:

(a) arising before July 1, 2011;

(b) in which the medical benefits have expressly been settled by means of a department or Workers' Compensation Court approved settlement or judgment;

(c) in which the insurer did not fully accept liability for the underlying accident or occupational disease; or

(d) arising on or after July 1, 2011, where the injury results in:

(i) permanent total disability; or

(ii) the fitting of a prosthesis which may need to be repaired or replaced.

(3) The department will apply the provisions of subchapter 31 to claims accepted by the uninsured employers' fund.

(4) Informational instructions regarding the process for a party to petition to reopen medical benefits terminated by operation of law are available from the Department of Labor and Industry, Employment Relations Division, P.O. Box 8011, Helena, MT 59604-8011, and online at the department's web site. These instructions provide supplemental information about the reopening process and an explanation of how to submit a petition for reopening to the department.

(5) Nothing in subchapter 31 prohibits an insurer from making voluntary payments for medical benefits that have terminated by operation of law. An insurer that makes a voluntary payment for a medical benefit that has been terminated by operation of law must advise the worker in writing that the payment for a medical benefit is made on a voluntary basis and does not create a legal obligation for the insurer to make payment for any other medical benefits.

History: 39-71-203, MCA; IMP, 39-71-105, 39-71-107, 39-71-704, 39-71-717, MCA; NEW, 2016 MAR p. 204, Eff. 2/6/16.

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