American Association of State Compensation insurance Fund
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CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (602) 631-2000
Address: 3030 North Third Street
Phoenix, AZ   85012
Website: www.copperpoint.com

State Compensation Insurance Fund
Phone: 888-STATEFUNDCA
Address: 333 Bush Street
Suite 800
San Francisco, CA   94104
Website: www.statefundca.com

Pinnacol Assurance
Phone: (303) 361-4000
Address: 7501 East Lowry Boulevard
Suite 800
Denver, CO   80230-7006
Website: www.pinnacol.com

Hawaii Employers' Mutual Insurance Co. Inc.
Phone: (808) 524-3642
Address: 1100 Alakea Street
Suite 1400
Honolulu, HI   96813
Website: www.hemic.com

Idaho State Insurance Fund
Phone: (208) 332-2100
Address: 1215 West State Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID   83720-0044
Website: www.idahosif.org

Kentucky Employers Mutual Insurance
Phone: (859) 425-7800
Address: 250 West Main Street Suite 900
P.O. Box 83720
Lexington, KY   40507-1724
Website: www.kemi.com

Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation
Phone: (225) 924-7788
Address: 2237 South Acadian Thruway
P.O. Box 83720
Baton Rouge, LA   70808
Website: www.lwcc.com

Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC)
Phone: (207) 791-3300
Address: 261 Commercial Street
P.O. Box 11409
Portland, ME   04104
Website: www.memic.com

Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company
Phone: (410) 494-2000
Address: 8722 Loch Raven Boulevard
P.O. Box 11409
Towson, MD   21286-2235
Website: www.ceiwc.com

SFM Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (952) 838-4200
Address: 3500 American Boulevard West Suite 700
P.O. Box 11409
Bloomington, MN   55431-4434
Website: www.sfmic.com

Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance
Phone: (800) 442-0590
Address: 101 N Keene St
P.O. Box 11409
Columbia, MO   65201
Website: www.mem-ins.com

Montana State Fund
Phone: (406) 495-5015
Address: 855 Front Street
P.O. Box 4759
Helena, MT   59604-4759
Website: www.montanastatefund.com

New Mexico Mutual Group
Phone: (505) 345-7260
Address: 3900 Singer Boulevard NE
P.O. Box 4759
Albuquerque, NM   87109
Website: www.newmexicomutual.com

New York State Insurance Fund
Phone: (212) 312-7001
Address: 199 Church Street
P.O. Box 4759
New York, NY   10007
Website: www.nysif.com

Workforce Safety and Insurance
Phone: (701) 328-3800
Address: 1600 East Century Avenue Suite 1
P.O. Box 4759
Bismarck, ND   58506-5585
Website: www.WorkforceSafety.com

Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation
Phone: (800) 644-6292
Address: 30 West Spring Street
P.O. Box 4759
Columbus, OH   43215-2256
Website: www.ohiobwc.com

CompSource Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (405) 232-7663
Address: 1901 North Walnut Ave.
P.O. Box 53505
Oklahoma City, OK   73152-3505
Website: www.compsourcemutual.com

State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF)
Phone: (503) 373-8000
Address: 400 High Street SE
P.O. Box 53505
Salem, OR   97312-1000
Website: www.saif.com

Pennsylvania State Workers Insurance Fund
Phone: (570) 963-4635
Address: 100 Lackawanna Avenue
P.O. Box 5100
Scranton, PA   18505-5100
Website: www.dli.state.pa.us/swif

Beacon Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (401) 825-2667
Address: One Beacon Centre
P.O. Box 5100
Warwick, RI   02886-1378
Website: www.beaconmutual.com

South Carolina State Accident Fund
Phone: (803) 896-5800
Address: P.O. Box 102100
P.O. Box 5100
Columbia, SC   29221-5000
Website: www.saf.sc.gov

Texas Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (800) 859-5995
Address: 6210 East Highway 290
P.O. Box 5100
Austin, TX   78723-1098
Website: www.texasmutual.com

Workers Compensation Fund
Phone: (800) 446-2667
Address: 100 West Towne Ridge Parkway
P.O. Box 2227
Sandy, UT   84070
Website: www.wcfgroup.com

Washington Department of Labor and Industries
Phone: (360) 902-5800
Address: P.O. Box 44001
P.O. Box 2227
Olympia, WA   98504-4001
Website: www.lni.wa.gov

Wyoming Division of Workers Safety & Compensation
Phone: (307) 777-7159
Address: Cheyenne Business Center
1510 East Pershing Boulevard
Cheyenne, WY   82002
Website: wydoe.state.wy.us

Workers Compensation Board - Alberta
Phone: (780) 498-3999
Address: 9925-107 Street
P.O. Box 2415
Edmonton, AB   T5J 2S5
Website: www.wcb.ab.ca

Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia (WORKSAFEBC)
Phone: (604) 273-2266
Address: P.O. Box 5350 Station Terminal
P.O. Box 2415
Vancouver, BC   V6B 5L5
Website: www.worksafebc.com

Manitoba Workers Compensation Board
Phone: (204) 954-4321
Address: 333 Broadway
P.O. Box 2415
Winnipeg, MB   R3C 4W3
Website: www.wcb.mb.ca

WorkSafeNB
Phone: (506) 632-2200
Address: 1 Portland Street
P.O. Box 160
Saint John, NB   E2L 3X9
Website: www.worksafenb.ca

Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia
Phone: (902) 491-8999
Address: 5668 South Street
P.O. Box 1150
Halifax, NS   B3J 2Y2
Website: www.wcb.ns.ca

Prince Edward Island Workers Compensation Board
Phone: (902) 368-5680
Address: 14 Weymouth Street
P.O. Box 1150
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7L7
Website: www.wcb.pe.ca

Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board
Phone: (306) 787-4370
Address: 200 - 1881 Scarth Street
P.O. Box 1150
Regina, SK   S4P 4L1
Website: www.wcbsask.com

Puerto Rico State Insurance Fund Corporation
Phone: (787) 793-5959
Address: G.P.O. Box 365028
P.O. Box 1150
San Juan, PR   00936-5028
Website: www.cfse.gov.pr
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Around AASCIF

COLORADO

Pinnacol Serves Up Cake: A Digital Subsidiary for Simple, Quick Workers’ Comp Coverage
In October, Pinnacol launched Cake, a new digital platform to make it easier for small businesses that choose not to use an agent to purchase workers’ comp policies. It’s so easy, we’re calling it “Cake”—because it will now be a piece of cake for small businesses to get a quote, purchase, and manage their workers’ comp policies directly from Pinnacol.

Some of Cake’s notable features include:

  • Simple, mobile-first digital experience.
  • Artificial intelligence to speed quotes for most small, low-risk policies in less than five minutes.
  • Easier policy management.
  • Elimination of most paper forms and physical signatures.
  • Chatbot text engines providing policy status information and delivery of certificates of insurance.
  • Live support online via desktop or mobile device.

The platform's customer experience is tailored to small businesses that prefer an online self-service experience. Cake is just one part of Pinnacol’s unified strategy to make the digital experience better for all of our customers. See what Cake can do at www.cakeinsure.com.

Pinnacol Employees Launch Solution Benefiting Agents, Smaller Customers, and Our Underwriting Team
As part of our digital innovation strategy for agents, we launched the enhanced Agent Quote application (what we’re calling Agent Quote 2.0) in October, which features an updated, user-friendly platform; the ability to quickly receive estimates and bind qualified policies; an e-signature feature on all required documents; automated search for NCCI experience modifications; and access to all agent codes without logging out or logging in.

At the same time, we launched our new straight-through underwriting process for agent-submitted applications that are under $10,000 in premium. The goal is to increase the speed and efficiency of delivering a quote or policy to our agents and mutual customers. The new straight-through underwriting process coupled with our enhanced Agent Quote application will ensure our agents get their policies much faster.

Pinnacol Hires Chief Marketing Officer
Pinnacol is pleased to announce that we have hired Kate Schmitz as our new chief marketing officer (CMO). Schmitz is an accomplished and versatile marketing executive who brings with her a deep background in marketing, brand strategy, and digital engagement. She will focus heavily on understanding and meeting fast-changing customer expectations while also supporting the implementation of a digital transformation strategy.

2016 Annual Report Highlights Strong Performance, Changes
Another solid year allowed Pinnacol to decrease rates and issue a $50 million general dividend in 2017. But in a world that changes at lightning speed, we’re reinventing ourselves to deliver care that exceeds our customers’ expectations. View the full report.

 

HAWAII

Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (HEMIC) Raises $40,000 for the Arthritis Foundation
To celebrate 20 years of serving the Hawaii business community, HEMIC pledged to raise $20,000 for the Arthritis Foundation. With its inaugural golf tournament fundraiser in July, HEMIC doubled its initial goal, raising $40,000 for the charity. The event brought together industry partners and colleagues for a day of fun, sun, golf, and fundraising efforts, which included corporate sponsorships, team participation, raffles, and a silent auction.

Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States and affects more than 240,000 adults and 12,000 children in Hawaii each year. It impacts Hawaii businesses with lost labor hours, absenteeism, reduced productivity and profitability, and higher costs. The Arthritis Foundation is the “Champion of Yes”—focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis through vital information, advocacy, science, and community. Its mission is aligned with HEMIC’s goal of getting Hawaii workers back to work and back to life.

HEMIC CEO Martin Welch presented a donation check to the Arthritis Foundation’s senior executive director, Maile Kawamura, on KITV’s “Good Morning Hawaii” program. HEMIC’s donation will support efforts such as local community awareness, patient education, and Camp Mana’olana, where Hawaii children with arthritis experience friendships, fun, community, and support. Read more.

HEMIC Directors Declare $3.5 Million Dividend
During HEMIC’s 20th anniversary year, the board of directors of Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company, Inc. (HEMIC) declared a $3.5 million dollar dividend payable to qualifying policyholders. This figure is $0.5 million dollars more than HEMIC’s dividend last year, and is the 11th consecutive year that the HEMIC board has authorized a multi-million-dollar dividend. With this dividend, HEMIC will have returned over $31 million dollars to Hawaii businesses over the last 11 years. Policyholders insured with HEMIC for more than one policy year and who possess demonstrated safety records qualify for the dividend, which will be distributed in November. An estimated 80% of HEMIC’s members will receive a dividend.

Said HEMIC CEO Martin Welch, “HEMIC’s directors are pleased to declare a $3.5 million dollar dividend this year. HEMIC is a mutual insurance company, owned by and with a mission to serve our policyholders. This dividend declaration underscores that investing in workplace safety pays many times over: it is good for employees’ well-being, it is good for workplace productivity, and it is good for employers’ bottom line.”  Read full story.

 

LOUISIANA

LWCC Named to 2017 Ward’s 50 Top-Performing Insurance Companies
LWCC has been named to the 2017 Ward’s 50® group of top-performing property–casualty insurance companies. Ward Group is the trusted leader of benchmarking and best practices services for the insurance industry and analyzes nearly 3,000 property–casualty insurance companies domiciled in the United States to identify top performers.

“We are honored that Ward’s 50 has once again selected us as a top performer,” stated LWCC president and CEO Kristin Wall. “This national designation recognizes the hard work of everyone at LWCC and demonstrates our commitment to creating unparalleled customer experiences to all of our stakeholders.”

LWCC is recognized for achieving outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency, and performance over a five-year period, 2012–2016. This is the 11th time since its inception that LWCC has been recognized with this honor. Each Ward’s 50 company has passed all safety and consistency screens and achieved superior performance over the five years analyzed.

“Low investment returns, rising loss costs, and competitive market conditions continue to impact financial returns for the industry. In selecting the Ward’s 50, we identified companies that pass financial stability requirements and measure their ability to grow while maintaining strong capital positions and underwriting results,” said Jeff Rieder, partner, head of Ward Group.

Ward’s 50 top performers are featured on the Ward Group website at www.wardinc.com.

LWCC Promotes Brent Toups to Vice President
LWCC recently announced the promotion of Brent Toups as vice president of policyholder services and agency relations.

“We are pleased to promote Brent into this new role and welcome him to our executive team,” stated president and CEO Kristin Wall. “Brent’s progression through the various disciplines at LWCC have prepared him well to step into this role and make a positive impact for the company. I am confident he will contribute much to LWCC.”

Brent has over 19 years of industry experience with LWCC, gaining expertise in the fields of premium audit, agency relations, and underwriting. Brent joined the company in 1998 as a premium auditor and then transitioned into the agency relations department, where he developed important relationships with key agent partners. After excelling in this department, he was promoted to business unit manager of large accounts in 2012, overseeing the underwriting team responsible for large accounts and USL&H accounts. In 2014, Brent was then promoted to assistant vice president of underwriting, overseeing all underwriting units and premium audit. A native of Thibodaux, Brent earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting in 1996 and an MBA in 2002, both from Nicholls State University.

LWCC Celebrates 25th Anniversary
October 1, 2017, marked the 25th anniversary of LWCC being open for business and selling its first policy. A private nonprofit mutual insurance company, LWCC was created through legislation in 1991 to rescue the failing workers’ compensation insurance market in the state.

In recognition of the milestone anniversary, LWCC held a week-long celebration of employee activities, each day focused on one of the organization’s core values of innovation, learning, will, connections, and caring and commitment.

“LWCC is an amazing success story,” said LWCC president and CEO Kristin Wall. “The company not only stabilized the workers’ comp insurance market in Louisiana, but it also created a competitive environment in the industry and has been an economic engine for the state. Twenty-five years ago, many Louisiana businesses were struggling or unable to find coverage in the voluntary market. LWCC changed that. We are proud to have been able to lower rates for our policyholders by 58.1% since inception in support of our mission to provide workers’ compensation insurance at the lowest feasible cost.”

The company held a reception for past and present board members and key stakeholders in 2016 to celebrate the creation of LWCC in 1991.

As the largest writer of workers’ compensation insurance in Louisiana, LWCC employs over 240 people and serves over 20,000 policyholders in the state. With a disciplined approach and intense focus, LWCC’s vision is to be a world-class workers’ compensation company that promotes safe work, prompt healing of the injured, and economic stability in Louisiana by providing unparalleled experiences to customers and key stakeholders. The Better Business Bureau recognized LWCC with its prestigious Douglas Manship, Sr. Torch Award for Ethics in Business in 2014. Named to the 2017 Ward’s 50 group of top-performing insurance companies, LWCC was recognized for achieving outstanding results in the areas of safety, consistency, and performance over a five-year period, 2012–2016. Recently, LWCC was named one of the 2017 Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge for benefiting its economy, workforce, and businesses.

LWCC Welcomes Kappie Mumphrey as Chief Information Officer
LWCC is pleased to announce the hiring of Kappie Mumphrey as its chief information officer (CIO).

Kappie is an IT leader with over 25 years of experience in management, including having served as CIO for the LSU AgCenter. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing IT strategies and governance processes in several different industries, and has significant experience managing large-scale, enterprisewide application implementation projects, many of which contained business process re-engineering components. Most recently, she served as senior director, Office of the CIO for CB&I.

Kappie earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and an MBA, both from Louisiana State University. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Additionally, Kappie is a member of the Baton Rouge CIO Roundtable and has spoken at several national conferences as well as served as guest lecturer at LSU.

"Kappie's experience and reputation as an IT leader make her a great fit for LWCC," stated LWCC President and CEO Kristin Wall. "As a company, we have many projects in front of us, such as replacing our legacy systems, and at the same time, expanding our digital footprint with our key stakeholders. We are excited to take this important step and pleased to have her on board as we continue to innovate in the interest of serving Louisiana businesses."

Following this announcement, the LWCC executive leadership team will consist of the following members:

  • Kristin Wall, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • John Hawie, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy & Investment Officer
  • Paul Buffone, Senior Vice President & Chief Claims Officer
  • Michael Stiltner, Senior Vice President & General Counsel
  • Gretchen Hofeling, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Brent Toups, Vice President of Policyholder Services & Agency Relations
  • Angela McGhee, Chief Actuary
  • Kappie Mumphrey, Chief Information Officer

 

MAINE

The MEMIC Group’s Michael Bourque Takes the Helm as President and CEO
Michael Bourque, a company veteran, became the next president and chief executive officer of The MEMIC Group on September 25, 2017. Bourque has worked for the company for nearly 22 years. “We are truly excited to present Michael as the next leader of MEMIC,” said MEMIC board chair David M. Labbe. “His experience, knowledge and loyalty to this company make him the perfect candidate to step into the role at this important time in the company’s history.” Read the full release.

 

Tony Payne Joins The MEMIC Group as Senior Vice President, External Affairs
Tony Payne joined MEMIC on September 18, 2017. He will oversee corporate communications and marketing, advertising, public relations, community relations, and legislative and government affairs for the super-regional insurance carrier. Read the full release.

 

 

MEMIC to Return $21 Million in Dividends Back to the Maine Economy; More Than $240 Million Returned to Maine-Based Policyholders Since 1998
The MEMIC Group announced this month that it will issue a record policyholder dividend this November of $21 million to approximately 18,000 Maine employers. Checks as large as $200,000 will be delivered in November depending on the amount of premium an employer paid in 2014. Read the full story.

 

MARYLAND

Hurricane Relief Efforts
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company recently donated $10,000 to The Salvation Army to help the organization bring relief to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

“Our hearts go out to the many victims of Hurricane Harvey,” said V. Rocky Gonzalez, chairman of the board for Chesapeake Employers. “The level of destruction and displacement is catastrophic. We hope this donation will help The Salvation Army continue its good work as they bring aid and relief to the hurricane victims.”

Chesapeake Employers will also match its employees’ donations of $2,000, which will be spread across several organizations, including The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Samaritan's Purse, and the ASPCA.

Chesapeake Employers’ board chairman V. Rocky Gonzalez, presents a $10,000 check to The Salvation Army’s representative, Janeen Johnally, to help with the hurricane relief fund. Pictured L to R:  Tom Phelan, Chesapeake Employers’ president and CEO; Eric Mueck, The Salvation Army; Lewis Powell, V. Rocky Gonzalez, Leonard "Bud" Schuler Jr., Suzanne Carter Thompson, and Charles Dankmeyer, Chesapeake Employers’ board members; Janeen Johnally, The Salvation Army; and Joe Coale and Maria Tildon, Chesapeake Employers’ board members.

 

MISSOURI

MEM Executive Selected to Serve on National Underwriting Committee
Joyce Underwood, vice president of policyholder services at Missouri Employers Mutual, was selected to serve on the National Underwriting Committee at the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). The committee meets several times a year to provide feedback on key research topics affecting the workers’ compensation industry.

“NCCI is very data-driven, and data doesn’t always tell the whole story,” Underwood said. “The purpose of this committee is to represent the industry and share real-world issues that data can’t uncover. NCCI drives everything we do, so it’s exciting to be the voice of change and make a difference.”

Ten people are selected to serve on the committee for a three-year term. Other large insurers, including The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, and Travelers Insurance, are also represented on the committee. This is the first time an employee from MEM has served on an NCCI committee.

“NCCI is pleased to have Joyce Underwood joining our Underwriting Committee as her experience and knowledge will help us in our goal of fostering a healthy workers’ compensation system,” stated Susan Donegan, chief regulatory officer for NCCI.

In her role at MEM, Underwood provides leadership for policyholder services, along with overseeing a staff of 50 customer service and premium consultation professionals for MEM’s more than 17,000 policyholders. She has worked for MEM since 1995, when the company opened its doors, and has also served as underwriting manager and director of underwriting.

NCCI gathers data, analyzes industry trends, and prepares objective insurance rate and loss cost recommendations. These activities help foster a healthy workers’ compensation system.
For Underwood’s full bio and a downloadable photo, visit http://www.memins.com/public/About/Our+Team.page.

 

MONTANA

Montana State Fund Declares Record Dividend
The MSF board of directors declared a record $40 million dividend to over 23,000 qualifying policyholders for their positive workplace safety results. The average dividend for these policyholders represents nearly 28% of their paid premium.

Most years, Montana experiences more on-the-job injuries and fatalities than any other state in the nation. This is true regardless of industry. But, MSF is working to change these statistics through proactive safety programs, assistance, and awareness campaigns.

To recognize policyholders who have demonstrated excellence in workplace safety, MSF president and CEO Lanny Hubbard traveled across the state to deliver dividend checks to a few of our customers. 
Since 1990 MSF has returned a total of $216 million to qualified policyholders.

Media Campaign
MSF will kick off its new "Work Hard. Be Safe: Head Home" statewide media campaign on November 6, 2017. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of being valued and productive at work, but most importantly, going home safe every day.

The creative components of the campaign include statewide television and cable networks, traditional and public radio, and rural newspapers, as well as social media utilizing Facebook, Instagram, and targeted website banner ads. The call to action at the end of each communication directs the audience to MSF’s safety-focused website—safemt.com.

The campaign runs from November 6 through December 17, 2017.

 

NEW YORK

SPH Compliance
In October, NYSIF Field Services representatives began visiting healthcare policyholders seeking to verify their compliance with New York State’s Safe Patient Handling (SPH) Act.

Field reps have been working hard since early last year to help hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic treatment centers, and clinics implement the strongest possible (SPH) regimens. Through NYSIF’s SPH initiative, members of our Field Services team have been assisting facilities in training staff and planning a program that aims to reduce injuries related to manual lifting and positioning of patients.

NYSIF assisted policyholders in complying with the act, which took effect on January 1, 2017, by participating in the planning process on SPH committees that are required under the law. The committees, whose total membership must include 50 percent non-managerial frontline employees, offer input on equipment needs, selection, use, and staff training.

Healthcare policyholders that are serious about creating a safer workplace for their staff have embraced the initiative. Under the law, those who comply may be eligible for premium credits.

Implementing PFL
NYSIF initiated an employer census of disability benefits policyholders to calculate employee wages for estimating premium for Paid Family Leave (PFL) coverage, which takes effect on January 1, 2018. Coverage is mandatory for most private employers in New York State and is funded through employee payroll deductions. Employees of NYSIF disability benefits policyholders will be covered under their employer’s disability benefits policy.

In 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the nation’s most comprehensive PFL law. The law provides job-protected paid leave for employees to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition, or help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service. New York is the fourth state to offer PFL and has the strongest benefit package in the nation, beginning with up to eight weeks at up to 50 percent of the New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW). Benefits climb to a limit of 12 weeks and up to 67 percent of the NYSAWW by 2021.

Lean Honors
NYSIF has earned distinction as an exemplary Lean agency since Governor Cuomo introduced the New York State Lean Initiative in 2013. Lean, a concept that began in the manufacturing industry, helps organizations identify inefficiencies and waste within a process. NYSIF has implemented dozens of Lean projects to streamline operations and improve customer service in line with its overall strategic plan.

NYSIF received the Exemplary Agency Award by completing 26 projects and training 35 Lean Empire Belts—employees who achieve expert status in Lean project development, training, and mentoring. Melissa Jensen, of NYSIF’s Executive Project Management Office, received the Lean Deployment Manager of the Year Award in 2016, when NYSIF finished in first place at a statewide Lean Value Stream Mapping session for mapping more processes (20) than any other agency.

OHIO

Ohio Captures Industry Awards
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) recently received two international awards.

The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) named BWC’s pharmacy department the winner of its second annual Innovation Award for its contest entry “Saving Lives—Building a Model Pharmacy Program Amid a Deadly Epidemic.”

“Saving Lives” summarizes BWC’s work since 2011 to reduce opioid abuse and excessive prescribing of the painkillers while building a pharmacy program that’s recognized as a leader in the industry today. See this infographic explaining the effort.

The IAIABC also named BWC’s Kendra DePaul one of 11 NexGen award winners from across the country. DePaul won for her work in building and managing BWC’s Other States Coverage program, which insures Ohio employers when they’re working outside Ohio.

BWC administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison said the awards reflect BWC’s commitment to being a world-class workers’ compensation carrier.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” Morrison said. “These awards demonstrate what I tell people all over Ohio—BWC is loaded with talented people who represent the best in public service.”

Protecting Ohio Firefighters
BWC awarded more than $406,000 to 38 Ohio fire departments in August and September through the new Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program.  The program provides $2 million a year to help departments purchase safety gear and equipment designed to protect firefighters from carcinogens and other harmful elements encountered during a fire fight.

Residue collected on firefighters’ gear during a blaze can cause respiratory disease, cancer, and other ailments unless the gear is sufficiently protective and cleaned properly.

The departments (view a list of all recipients) will use the dollars to purchase diesel exhaust systems, extractors/washing machines, hoods with barrier protection and washable gloves.

Learn more about the program at bwc.ohio.gov.

Ohio Seeks Improved Outcomes With Spinal Fusion Rule
Rest and rehab before lumbar surgery

A new spinal fusion rule discourages surgery and opioid use in favor of conservative therapy for workers with lower back injuries.

BWC will now require those workers to first undergo at least 60 days of comprehensive conservative care before considering a surgical option. Conservative care includes physical therapy, chiropractic care and rest, anti-inflammatories, ice, and other nonsurgical treatments.

“Our mission is to get injured workers back to work and back to life as soon as safely possible, and our research shows that rushing to surgery may not be the best path for workers with lower back injuries,” said BWC administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison.

The rule follows several studies of BWC data that found fusion patients suffered considerably worse outcomes than nonfusion patients. Those outcomes included chronic opioid dependence, increased disability and high rates of failed back syndrome, as well as additional surgery and new psychiatric co-morbidities. One study in the journal Orthopedics found nearly 77 percent of fusion patients did not return to work within two years.

 

OREGON

Safety Pays—Again and Again
In September, SAIF’s board of directors declared two dividends for policyholders: a $120 million primary dividend to be paid to all eligible policyholders based on their premium, and a $40 million safety performance dividend to be paid based on each policyholder's safety results.

"Oregon employers and workers are the drivers behind one of the most successful workers' compensation systems in the nation," said president and CEO Kerry Barnett. "It's only right that we recognize their efforts to develop strong safety cultures that reduce workplace injuries, which reduces costs."

This is the eighth year in a row SAIF has returned a substantial dividend to its customers, and the second year for the safety performance dividend. The dividends will be distributed in October.

Construction Partners Rewarded With 30 Percent Return for Safety Efforts
The Associated General Contractors Oregon–Columbia Chapter (AGC) and SAIF announced a $9,870,000 retrospective return for the 642 companies who participated in the AGC/SAIF group workers’ compensation program during 2015–2016. This represents a 30.2 percent return of paid premiums during the policy year.

The retro return is based on the safety performance of group members.

“While these results would be remarkable for any industry, they are particularly exciting for the construction industry, where increasing activity and a continued worker shortage present unique challenges,” said Christy Witzke, vice president of marketing, sales, and communications at SAIF. “We look forward to continuing this trend next year by working with AGC, employers, and employees to stay vigilant about safety efforts.”

A retro return has been paid out to AGC members 24 of the past 25 years. Total retro returns spanning the 25-year history for the AGC/SAIF program now surpass $180 million.

Free Agriculture Safety Seminars Kick Off Oct. 31
SAIF will be offering free, half-day agriculture safety seminars starting in October, continuing through March.

SAIF has presented the seminars for more than 20 years. SAIF will be presenting in 16 cities across the state, with a separate Spanish seminar in nine cities.

This year's topics include mechanical hazards, ergonomics, safety leadership and communication skills, and the difference between safety and compliance.

SAIF Recognized as One of Nation’s Top 10 Healthiest Workplaces
SAIF was recognized as one of the Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America for the second straight year—jumping from 73rd in 2016 to 7th place this year. The awards program, presented by Springbuk, honors organizations for their commitment to employee health and exceptional corporate wellness programming.

SAIF was recognized for its employee engagement, with more than 97 percent of SAIF employees participating in the company’s pedometer program. In addition, the company's wellness program includes access to an onsite, no-cost Health and Wellness Center; incentives to boost physical activity; and a strong focus on stress reduction.

The award comes on the heels of honors from the Portland Business Journal’s Healthiest Employer in Oregon awards, which recognized SAIF as the second-healthiest employer with 500–1,499 employees. This is the seventh year SAIF has finished in the top three.

 

SASKATCHEWAN

Saskatchewan’s 2018 Employer Premium Rate Lowest in Over 30 Years
The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has approved a decrease in its 2018 average premium rate from $1.24 in 2017 to $1.19 in 2018 per hundred dollars of payroll, representing a decrease of 4 percent.

This is the 11th year that the WCB has approved a drop in premium rates. The WCB’s 2018 premium rate is 42 percent below the 15-year high of $2.05 in 2004.

The WCB’s 2018 average premium rate is the third lowest in Canada. Premium rates for 94 percent of Saskatchewan employers will decrease or remain unchanged. The decreases range from 0.8 percent to 32.8 percent.

Premium rates for 5.9 percent of employers will increase next year. The increases range from 0.9 percent to 2 percent.

Saskatchewan WCB Transitions to Enhanced Rate Model in 2018
Following an external actuarial review (Eckler) in 2016, the WCB approved recommendations to enhance its rate model, which will impact the premium rates some employers pay. The 2018 premium rates reflect the WCB’s transition to the enhanced rate model.

For 2018 only, the board approved a subsidy of $6.5 million from the Injury Fund to help employers whose rate codes would increase as a result of the enhanced rate model.

Starting in 2019, employers’ premium rates will reflect the full transition to the enhanced model, and no subsidy will be available.

There are 48,710 employers covered by the Saskatchewan WCB and 50 industry rate codes in Saskatchewan.
For more information, visit http://www.wcbsask.com/wcbs-2016-rate-model-review-recommendations/

 

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