Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pennsylvania Planning A Change In WC Rules

Pennsylvania is currently considering making a change in the Commonwealth's Workers Compensation rules to allow for partners and members of an LLC to voluntarily elect coverage for themselves. Most other states allow this, but Pennsylvania is unique in some important aspects of their Workers Compensation system.

For more information about how Pennsylvania operates its unique Workers Compensation system, take a look here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Workers Comp Blitzes Indoor Football Team

The Lafayette Wildcatters, a minor league indoor football team in Louisiana, have announced that they are scrapping their 2011 season because Workers Compensation insurance isn't available at an affordable cost.

I don't know any more about the situation than what is being reported in the press, but it does make me wonder if there was some behind-the-scenes tussling between the Wildcatters and the insurer that serves as Louisiana's insurer of last resort, the Louisiana Workers Compensation Corporation, or LWCC.

I've had a little experience reviewing premium audits done by LWCC, and based on those cases I think LWCC can be a bit aggressive in how they calculate premiums. In one case from a year or so ago, they had ratcheted up premiums by about a million dollars for a client, premium increases that were based on a fundamental mis-reading of manual rules and how they applied to this client. So, without being unfair to LWCC, it strikes me that it might well be that something similar has happened to the Wildcatters.

Of course, it isn't just LWCC that sometimes hammers sports teams over Workers Comp. A couple of years ago, I was able to help the San Francisco 49ers in a very large Workers Comp premium dispute. Although I was able to produce a very beneficial result for them, the details of the matter are covered by a confidentiality agreement that prevent me from providing any details. But the insurance company wasn't LWCC, it was a large national insurer.

It's surprising to some folks that professional athletic teams would have to tussle with Workers Comp costs just like any other business, but state laws are pretty clear in most jurisdictions--just about any business enterprise is responsible for Workers Compensation for its workers. And football players who play for money are not just athletes, they're also employees.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

$15,000 Refund For a Waste Hauler

Here's a quick case study from our recent files. We successfully recovered an overcharge of $15,000 for a waste hauler in Lexington, South Carolina. The overcharge had been caused by the failure of their insurer to properly report to NCCI some significant reimbursements the insurer had received from the Second Injury Fund. Under the rules, the insurer should have filed corrected reports with NCCI, so that the experience modifier for the waste hauler could be revised down. But as we often see, the insurer failed to file proper corrected reports. Until we got involved, that is.

We had to bug the insurer to file the corrected reports, then follow up with NCCI to make sure the experience modifiers were recalculated, and then finally we had to work with subsequent insurers of the waste haulers to get audits revised to use the now-lower experience mods.

Sad to say, this is far from an isolated case.