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Illinois May Create Non-Profit Workers Compensation Insurer

Posted on in BGL Law
Illinois May Create Non-Profit Workers' Compensation InsurerThe cost of workers' compensation insurance is a hot-button issue in Illinois. Some politicians, including Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, have proposed limiting the qualifying conditions for workers' compensation and capping the compensation claimants can receive. Opposing politicians believe insurers are driving up premiums for their own profits. A group of Illinois lawmakers want to create a non-profit insurance provider called the Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Company, which would offer competitive workers' compensation coverage for small- and medium-size businesses. A bill has already passed the Illinois House of Representatives but will need to get through the Illinois Senate and Rauner. If the bill is passed, the new insurance company would affect some Illinois residents seeking workers' compensation.

How It Works

More than 20 states have created non-profit insurance companies similar to what Illinois is proposing. The Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Company's mission would be to offer workers' compensation policies to local businesses at affordable prices. While it would not be a state-run organization, it would have connections to the state:

  • The state would provide a $10 million loan to start the company;
  • The governor would appoint the members of the board of directors to five-year terms; and
  • The board would submit an annual report to the state.

Arguments

Supporters of the Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Company say the company may provide financial relief to local businesses. The company would sell the same workers' compensation coverage as for-profit insurers but at a lower price. Other insurers may need to lower their prices in order to stay competitive. However, existing insurance companies have criticized the bill, saying:

  • It would be inappropriate to create a state-sponsored insurance organization to compete with the private market;
  • The bill does not address the issues that create high insurance costs for employers; and
  • Large-scale government intervention is the wrong way to reform the workers' compensation system.

Effect on Workers

For workers in Illinois, the important issue is their ability to receive workers' compensation benefits if their employers use the new company. The Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Company is meant to provide the same coverage as other insurers. Workers may have questions about the level of service they would receive, including:

  • Whether a non-profit company can afford to provide the same benefits as for-profit companies; and
  • How efficiently the company can process workers' compensation claims.

Receiving Compensation

If you have been injured while performing your work duties, you may need workers' compensation benefits to pay for medical expenses and lost wages. A McHenry County workers' compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC can represent you if your employer tries to deny your compensation claim. Call 815-338-3838 for a free consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=2622&GAID=14&LegID=103892&SpecSess=&Session=

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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