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  • NCCI Recommends Premium Rate Reduction

    The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has recommended an insurance rate reduction of 12.9% for Illinois employers. This recommendation reflects the massive reduction in costs of providing workers’ compensation coverage since the 2011 Amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act. Now we will wait to see if insurance companies will follow the direction of the NCCI and pass these savings along to Illinois businesses or keep premiums artificially inflated.

    Reflecting on the NCCI’s recommendation and the 2011 Amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act, Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) stated “Democrats and Republicans want to see lower costs for employers and cuts to waste and fraud in the system. The recommendation of significant cost reductions for Illinois employers shows that the reforms put in place in 2011 are doing just that, while still protecting the health and security of workers injured on the job through no fault of their own.”

    The savings in workers’ compensation costs derive from an 30% cut in payment to medical providers for services rendered to injured workers, decreasing awards to injured workers that compensate them for their permanent disability, capping awards for work-related carpal tunnel syndrome and limiting the length of time a person may receive an award for wage differential benefits, among other limitations. These cuts have resulted in savings of well over 750 million dollars, yet the insurance carriers have pocketed these savings as profit instead of passing the savings along to businesses and consumers in the form of rate reductions.

    In 2015 House Democrats voted to pass HB 1287. This bill would direct a state commission to analyze workers’ compensation insurance rates and determine why the savings are not being passed on to employers. Inexplicably, this sensible legislation was opposed by the House Republicans and Gov. Rauner.

    In discussing this House Bill, Rep. Hoffman noted that the legislation “would make sure our reforms are benefiting employers, not enriching insurance companies.” He went on to say, “I hope that politicians who have championed cuts that would hurt middle class families will fight just as hard to ensure employers get the savings they are owed from big insurance companies.”

    We agree with Rep. Hoffman and applaud the work that he and his fellow Representatives are doing to protect workers’ rights while making sure that cost savings are passed along to Illinois businesses in the form of premium reductions. Is the Governor’s agenda to help Illinois’ businesses or just to limit benefits to injured workers and hurt middle class families?

    Source: State Rep. Jay Hoffman's Office





  • Legislative Happenings on WC Reform

    As the 99th General Assembly regular session draws to a close on May 31, 2015, workers’ compensation “reform” has been a hot item on Governor Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda. On April 6, 2015, Governor Rauner released a 38-page detailed outline of his Turnaround Agenda. Workers’ Compensation “reform” was the first and most detailed proposal in his outline. Workers’ Compensation has become a bargaining chip in exchange for any increase in the state’s minimum wage and other worker-friendly legislation.

    In response, House Speaker Madigan convened a Committee of the Whole on May 5, 2015 to discuss the compensation received by injured workers. This rarely used format allowed the Representatives to examine how Governor Rauner’s proposals would impact the individual injured on the job. A number of speakers testified, including injured workers from both Illinois and neighboring states, so comparisons could be drawn between the various State’s systems. Representatives were able to ask questions from the witnesses.

    Several of Governor Rauner’s proposals were introduced on May 22, 2015 by Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). State Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) presented floor amendments consistent with what the Governor wanted in his Turnaround Agenda in the House. Democrats unanimously voted against the proposed “reform” legislation while Republicans voted present or did not vote on this particular legislation.

    On May 27, 2015, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted down the Governor’s workers’ compensation reform bill. We will update you as the legislative session draws to a close through our email newsletters.






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