Insurance Trade Group: Illinois Workers’ Comp Bill Unnecessary, ‘Burdensome’

March 30, 2017

A national trade association representing property/casualty insurers has come out against a proposed bill in Illinois that will create what group says are “burdensome and duplicative workers’ compensation regulations.”

The synopsis of Illinois House Bill 2645 states that the bill allows employers to “file safety and return to work programs with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.”

It also authorizes the IWCC to certify the programs and “provides that the Director of Insurance shall direct any workers’ compensation rate setting advisory organization to recalculate rates with respect to employers that file safety and return to work programs. Provides for the Director of Insurance to waive the Workers’ Compensation Commission Operations Fund fee with respect to self-insured employers that file the plans.”

On March 29, Steve Schneider, Midwest region vice president for the American Insurance Association (AIA), testified against the bill before the Illinois House Labor and Commerce Committee

In a statement released by the AIA, Schneider said the association urges “the House Labor and Commerce Committee to oppose HB 2645.

“The legislation urges employers and insurers to file their safety and return to work plans with the IWCC and wait for the ‘certification’ of these plans. Simultaneously, the Department of Insurance (DOI) is required to direct the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to recalculate advisory premium rates for the employers and insurers who file these programs. While this sounds like a good idea, the actual implementation of this scheme will be horrendously difficult.

“First, there is no documented problem necessitating the so-called voluntary certification program posed by the legislation; second, there is no coordination between plans filed with the IWCC, the DOI’s directives to the NCCI, or the NCCI’s compliance with these directives; third, the real losers from this bureaucratic circus will be insurance customers who will have to wait for these three entities to receive the info, review it, certify it, address any questions, issue directives, comply with those directives and then implement those directives.

“There is no need for this plan. It is virtually impossible to implement given its structure and customers will be forced to wait for their insurance plans. We urge the committee to reject HB 2645.”

Topics Legislation Workers' Compensation Illinois

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