SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Local employers would receive relief from high workers’ compensation costs under legislation passed by state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, establishing a non-profit workers’ compensation insurer as an alternative for Illinois businesses tired of paying high premiums to pad corporate profits.

“I’m fighting for the middle-class workers and small businesses across Illinois,” Welch said. “I think the best thing to do to drive down costs is to spearhead this agency to finally pass on the savings to small business owners.”

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 Welch is working for real reforms that reforms that help small and medium-sized employers save money without hurting middle-class families.

Welch’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, Welch 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. Welch’s House Bill 2525 gives the Department of Insurance authority to review insurance rates before they become effective and reject those it finds excessive.

“These measures are designed to follow up on the 2011 reforms sponsored by the House Democrats,” Welch said. “These efforts are about fairness and justice for small and medium sized businesses, leveling the playing field for them with larger corporations.”

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

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