West Virginia Touts Switch to Private Workers’ Compensation System

West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane L. Cline says her state’s one-year old privatized workers’ compensation system is offering better claims administration, lower costs for employers and better treatment of injured workers.

In 2005, the state approved the privatization of the state fund, which had been the sole workers’ compensation provider. The new private carrier, BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co., opened its doors on Jan. 1, 2006, and it remained the sole provider until the market opened for competition on July 1, 2008.

During the transition, Cline’s office assumed the role of administrator of the claims of the state’s old fund that occurred before July 1, 2005. Cline says that the old fund was “saturated with fraud by providers, employers and employees.”

Since the switch, Cline says that claims handling has improved such that:

The open workers’ compensation market, which celebrated its first anniversary July 1, is also performing well, according to Cline. As of June 30, 2009: