SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Local employers would receive relief from high workers compensation costs under legislation passed by state Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, establishing a non-profit workers’ compensation insurer as an alternative for Illinois businesses tired of paying high premiums to pad corporate profits.
“The reforms that we passed in 2011 have decreased costs and injuries statewide,” D’Amico said. “Yet the majority of the resulting savings were wrestled away from small businesses by corporate insurance companies. These proposals are about leveling the playing field, so that corporate insurance can’t continue to game the system.”
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. D’Amico is working toward reforms that help small and medium-sized employers save money without unfairly harming the families of injured workers.
D’Amico voted for 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 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, D’Amico 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. D’Amico voted for House Bill 2525 which gives the Department of Insurance authority to review insurance rates before they become effective and reject those it finds excessive.
“The governor’s approach unduly harms working families, so that he can give a handout to the corporate insurance industry,” D’Amico said. “The savings are there. Our proposal protects working families and makes sure that small and medium-sized businesses receive the savings from the 2011 reform.”
Both House Bill 2622 and House Bill 2525 passed the House and are awaiting further action in the Senate.