Posts Tagged ‘California workers comp’

State workers compensation news briefs: OK, GA, PA, CA

Monday, September 20th, 2004

Oklahoma Governor Henry urges regulators to block workers compensation increase
“The National Council on Compensation Insurance is seeking an increase in its “loss cost” rates, the direct cost of settling workers’ compensation claims like medical bills and salary reimbursements. The costs are about 70 percent of what a covered company pays.
But an actuarial report prepared for Attorney General Drew Edmondson said the insurance industry’s request is “excessive” and recommended that there be no increase in rates. Edmondson represents businesses and other consumers on workers comp rate cases.”

Georgia workers’ compensation payments up
Workers’ compensation payments in Georgia hit $1.08 billion in 2002, up about 2 percent over the 2001 level of $1.07 billion, according to a new report released by the Washington, D.C.-based National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI).
Both medical care and direct cash payments to Georgia workers grew in 2002. Payments for medical care increased to $517 million in 2002 from $516 million in 2001. Cash payments to workers swelled to $566 million in 2002 from $552 million in 2001.
For the nation, workers’ compensation payments increased faster than wages for the second year in a row in 2002.”

Pennsylvania medical study finds 83.4% of injured workers satisfied with care Medical
Since the 1993 workers comp reform, the PA Bureau of Workers Compensation is legally mandated to conduct an annual survey. Quite interesting, does anyone know of any other states that measure user satisfaction or outcomes? Here is an excerpt:
An independent medical access study conducted in late 2003 showed 83.4 percent of respondents reported they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with WC medical care – up from 80.4 percent in 2002, Schmerin noted.”
California workers comp reform regulations move on schedule
“The California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is on track to meet its Nov. 1 deadline for adopting emergency regulations that will allow medical provider networks to begin operating in California. Medical provider networks (MPNs), which may be established by employers or insurers on or after Jan. 1, 2005, will provide care to workers injured on the job.”

S&P Warns that California’s workers comp woes are not over

Friday, August 27th, 2004

A recent report by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services indicates that California’s workers comp problems may be far from over, and that downward pricing pressures threaten to throw the market in another tailspin. The report does not mince words, stating that insurance commissioner Garamendi is inviting “the same irresponsible behavior that caused the last crisis.”
From the Insurance Journal story:
“Much of Standard & Poor’s analysis centers on the California State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund, or SCIF), which has “soaked up like a voracious sponge business abandoned by other insurers’ flight or failure,” the report states. After a six-fold increase in premiums in just four years, SCIF’s premiums/surplus ratio reached the “very precarious” level of 3.7 for 2003, compared with a safe level of 0.9 in 1999.
“State Fund could be in serious trouble if pricing for newer business proves inadequate,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Jason Jones.
Any failure of SCIF, which wrote more than half of California premiums in 2003, would bring into play the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA), which pays claims against insolvent insurers and which has just taken the unprecedented step of borrowing $750 million in the bond market to keep up with its workers’ compensation burden.”

We’ve talked about California