SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Local employers would receive relief from high workers’ compensation costs under legislation passed with the support of state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, establishing a non-profit workers’ compensation insurer as an alternative for Illinois businesses tired of paying high premiums to pad corporate profits.
“My goal is to ensure that middle-class families and our local employers are getting a fair deal,” Mussman said. “As a cost-effective alternative, a not-for-profit insurance provider will help level the playing field by lowering costs for small and medium-sized businesses.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner is demanding changes to workers’ compensation that will jeopardize the economic security of workers hurt on the job, but that then does not take necessary steps to ensure any cost savings will be passed on to businesses. Mussman is pushing for real reforms that help small and medium-sized employers save money without hurting middle-class families.
Mussman’s 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, Mussman 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. House Bill 2525 gives the Department of Insurance authority to review insurance rates before they become effective and reject those it finds excessive.
“The governor’s approach to workers’ compensation reform does not guarantee cost reductions for the small businesses and entrepreneurs who invest in our communities, while potentially harming working families.” Mussman said. “I’m working to make sure that local businesses receive the savings from the 2011 reforms, and I will continue fighting for reforms that grow our economy and help small business owners create jobs in our communities.”