Beiser backs legislation to create nonprofit workers’ compensation insurer

ALTON — State Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, is supporting creation of a non-profit workers’ compensation insurer through the state of Illinois that would allow another option for businesses tired of paying high premiums.

beiser dan“In 2011, we passed significant workers’ compensation reforms, but unfortunately the savings haven’t been passed on to employers,” Beiser said. “Instead, big insurance companies have used these savings to pad their profits. This legislation allows for a non-profit insurance company to provide a cost-effective alternative to businesses.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing to further increase corporate profits by demanding changes to workers compensation that will jeopardize the economic security of workers hurt on the job through no fault of their own, Beiser said. He said the reforms he is supporting would better help small- and medium-sized employers save money without hurting middle-class families.

Beiser sponsored House Bill 2622, which creates a not-for-profit insurance provider that would be able to sell workers’ compensation insurance to businesses throughout the state. The Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Company could offer the same quality insurance as for-profit companies, but would be committed to delivering the best value for businesses, not turning a profit for investors, he said.

The competition will also encourage for-profit insurers to offer lower-cost options for Illinois employers. The non-profit established under this legislation is similar to state-chartered insurance companies in 20 other states, including Missouri, Kentucky, California and Texas. The measure has passed the House, but not yet been acted upon by the Senate.

Additionally, Beiser also supported reforms that require for-profit insurance companies to pass savings from workers’ compensation reform on to Illinois employers. House Bill 2525 gives the Department of Insurance authority to review insurance rates before they become effective and reject those it finds excessive. That bill is also awaiting Senate action.

“Gov. Rauner has been talking a lot about helping small businesses,” Beiser said. “This legislation will actually help to bring down workers’ compensation costs without ignoring the needs of hard-working men and women. This measure will help make Illinois more competitive, while also protecting the middle class.”

For more information, contact Beiser’s office at (618) 465-5900.

 – From the Illinois Business Journal

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