IL State Rep. Hoffman: Significant Drop in Workers’ Comp Costs Shows Previous Reforms are Working

BELLEVILLE, Ill. –(ENEWSPF)–July 29, 2016.  Reforms to the workers’ compensation system passed in 2011 have contributed to a significant decrease in recommended insurance rates and should help Illinois employers reduce costs and compete with businesses in neighboring states said state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea. Advisory rates released this week by a national rating organization noted large reductions in Illinois’ workers’ compensation costs in the years since 2011, when the General Assembly enacted a significant reform package.

“Democrats and Republicans want to see lower costs for employers and cuts to waste and fraud in the system. This recommendation of significant cost reductions for Illinois employers shows that the reforms put in place in 2011 are doing just that, while still protecting the health and security of workers injured on the job through no fault of their own,” Hoffman said. “My colleagues and I stand ready to thoroughly evaluate additional proposals for making Illinois a more competitive place to do business with the understanding that smart economic reforms aren’t achieved through threats, hostage-taking or by hurting middle-class families, but by bringing all sides to the table and seeking compromise.”

Hoffman, who chairs the House Labor Committee, pointed to advisory rates released this week by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which recommend an average insurance rate reduction of 12.9 percent for Illinois employers. The recommended rate reduction is the largest drop since 2011 and likely one of the most significant reductions in the nation. Medical costs and indemnity costs have fallen significantly in Illinois since workers’ compensation reforms approved in 2011 went into effect, and NCCI noted significant cost decreases in 2013 and 2014.

To date, Hoffman and other experts in the field believe that many insurance companies have not passed along these savings to local businesses. In 2015, House Democrats voted to pass House Bill 1287, which would direct a state commission to analyze workers’ compensation insurance rates and determine why savings are not being passed on to employers. The measure was met with overwhelming opposition from House Republicans and Governor Rauner.

“Illinois has seen significant decreases in workers’ compensation costs in the years since reforms were enacted, and now Illinois employers need to see equivalent savings,” Hoffman said. “House Democrats have passed legislation that would make sure our reforms are benefitting employers, not enriching insurance companies. As the organization Illinois insurers rely on to determine their rates now find employers should be in line for significant savings as a result of these reforms, I hope that politicians who have championed cuts that would hurt middle-class families will fight just as hard to ensure employers get the savings they are owed from big insurance companies.”

Source: State Rep. Jay Hoffman’s Office