SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Local employers would receive relief from high workers’ compensation costs under legislation recently supported by state Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, establishing a non-profit workers’ compensation insurer as an alternative for Illinois businesses tired of paying high premiums to pad corporate profits.
“When I talk with business leaders throughout our community, one of their priorities is passing workers’ compensation reform to lower costs and be more competitive,” Wallace said. “These bills have the potential to provide substantial savings, and are an important step in realizing that goal.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing to further pad 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. But Wallace is working for real reforms that help small and medium-sized employers save money without hurting middle-class families.
The Wallace-sponsored House Bill 2622 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 can offer the same quality insurance as for-profit companies, but will be committed to delivering the best value for businesses, not turning a profit for investors. 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.
Additionally, Wallace supported reforms that require for-profit insurance companies to pass savings from workers’ compensation reform on to Illinois employers. Since Illinois enacted workers’ compensation reforms in 2011, costs, injuries and claims have all dropped significantly, but instead of passing on the savings to businesses, insurance companies are padding their profits. The Wallace-supported House Bill 2525 gives the Department of Insurance authority to review insurance rates before they become effective and reject those it finds excessive.
“It’s important to have a workers’ compensation system in place that is fair to workers and to businesses,” Wallace said. “These bills will help drive down inflated costs, while still ensuring our hard workers receive the compensation they are due in the event of serious injury.”
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