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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Congress 2017, in the Rear-View Mirror

By Jim Gould, Jim Gould Strategies LLC

According to the pundits back in January, 2017 was to be a time for major legislation in Congress on health care, tax, and infrastructure, as well as possibly immigration, trade, and defense.  But Congress has failed to complete legislation on any of those measures, thus far depriving the president of a legislative achievement in his first year. 

Health Care

First on the list for the year was the repeal of the Affordable Care Act—an initiative that appeared to be readily achievable, given the many votes in Congress to repeal the law over the last three years. Congressional leaders set a goal of sending a bill to the president’s desk by the end of January. But the task of crafting a replacement for the law proved to be thornier than anticipated. With the unified opposition of the Democrats, GOP leaders could spare the loss of only two Senate Republicans, but senators held widely divergent views on the law. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to bridge the divergent views and pass a bill, GOP leaders set health care aside in September. 

With the failure of ACA repeal this year, health care will likely continue to simmer as a top issue on the Congressional agenda next year and for years to come, given the ever-growing cost of health care both to the economy and to the federal government, as well as to state and local governments. Yet, the strident public outcry over the possible repeal of the ACA during the debate in Congress has amplified the difficulty of crafting a replacement policy. Even proponents of repeal in Congress have broadly voiced support for continuing to prohibit insurance companies from considering pre-existing conditions in selling or pricing coverage—a position that presumably requires the government also to continue to require or induce healthy people to purchase insurance. 

The president has recently announced the termination of the ACA subsidy payments that compensate insurance companies for required reductions in deductibles and other costs of low-income policyholders. The president’s initiative could re-ignite the health care debate in Congress this fall and early next year as insurance companies seek increases in their rates in response. A focus of the debate could be a bipartisan proposal drafted by veteran senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) to continue the subsidy payment for two years while providing the states with greater flexibility in administering the ACA.  

Tax Reform

Unless the issue of the ACA subsidy payments edges other issues off the Congressional table this fall, Congress will next be consumed with tax reform. Tax reform appears to be the best GOP hope for major legislation in coming months.

The president has proposed a series of sharp tax reductions, including cuts in both individual and corporate tax rates and the elimination of the estate tax. However, the president has mostly not specified the tax offsets required to keep the tax cuts from inflating the budget deficit. Those tax offsets are the hard part of tax reform—and the main reason attempts at tax reform have failed repeatedly for more than 30 years. The only proposed tax offset made public so far—the repeal of the deduction for state and local taxes—already has generated noisy pushback and triggered talk of compromise in Congress.   

For tax-exempt workers’ compensation funds, tax reform could mean the revisiting of the federal tax exemption. A provision to tighten the exemption was included in a broad tax reform measure introduced in the House in 2014.  At the same time, for taxable funds, tax reform could mean a reduced tax rate, paired with other provisions to tighten the calculation of net income of insurance companies. Again, such changes were included in the 2014 bill.      

Tax reform will be subject to many of the same legislative challenges as the repeal of the ACA. Unless tax writers eventually shape the bill in a way to attract votes of Democrats, the GOP will have only two votes to spare in the Senate. Senator Corker (R-TN) already has announced his opposition to any tax bill that would increase the deficit. Other GOP senators may be concerned about the tax bill’s effect on average voters, its benefits for the wealthy, or the effect of its tax offsets on particular states or industries. As with health care, the leadership will be attempting to perform a delicate balancing act. However, for GOP leaders, failure on tax reform is not an option ahead of the mid-term elections next year. At the end of the day, tax reform could end up in any of a variety of different forms, including a simple tax cut for average voters.   

Federal Budget

In lieu of writing a full budget proposal in the manner of all other recent presidents, President Trump instead sent to Congress early this year a series of selective, targeted cuts in government programs. By and large, Congress has declined to take up the proposals.  

At least two of the White House budget proposals could be of concern to workers’ compensation carriers: a proposed major reduction in funding for NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and proposed cuts in social security disability benefits through repeal of the so-called reverse offset. At this point, Congressional appropriators have rejected major cuts in NIOSH funding, and Congressional committees with jurisdiction over social security have not launched reforms of the disability program. However, the White House certainly could renew the proposals in coming months and years. The social security disability program, in particular, faces looming insolvency and may soon require the government to make hard choices about the program’s future. 

At the end of this year and into next year, the federal budget will sporadically rise to the top of the agenda. Funding for FY 2018 is due for renewal in early December, and a needed increase in the federal debt ceiling will follow in the spring. Because each such measure likely will require votes of Democrats to pass, each has the potential to become a flashpoint, complete with threats of government shutdown or default and with unknown consequences for other legislation.  

For 2018, the one certainty is that Congressional Republicans will feel increasing urgency to deliver legislation on tax reform or other initiatives. Exactly what form legislation may take in the current volatile political environment in Washington remains to be seen.

 

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