Illinois insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation benefits coverage may soon have a new competitor – the State of Illinois itself. The proposed legislation (H.B. 2919), which cleared Illinois State House’s Committee on State Government Administration last week, proposes to create a state workers’ compensation insurance fund that would compete with private insurers.
The proposal has been met with considerable pushback, however. Many insurers and insurance industry groups are opposed to the legislation because it could potentially impede their ability to increase the rate of premiums. Others are concerned that Illinois’ significant debt problems will hinder its ability to properly capitalize and staff a fund that would adequately compete with the private market.
According to Rep. Laura Fine, who is sponsoring the legislation, Illinois state legislators are aware that the proposed legislation is at odds with current national trends to allow the private market to drive workers’ compensation systems., but she says that workers’ compensation coverage is a “big cost burden for companies” both large and small.
When employees are injured on the job, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that are paid through employers’ insurance policies or self-insurance, but employers have long complained about the costs of treating injured employees. Accordingly, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law amendments to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act in June 2011 that reduced the costs associated with treating injured employees. The proposed legislation is, at least partly, in response to concerns that these workers’ compensation reforms are not improving the system enough.
The Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC are committed to protecting the rights of injured employees through access to adequate medical treatment and receipt of full and fair workers’ compensation benefits. As a result of our considerable experience handling workers’ compensation cases, as well as other accident and injury cases, we are able to help you get the appropriate medical treatment following your workplace accident. We guide clients through the entire process – from notifying their employer to preparing a workers’ compensation claim – so that they can obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they are owed in a prompt manner. Moreover, as skilled accident and injury attorneys, we assess whether there might be any third-party claims that apply to the workplace accident.
If you have suffered a work-related accident or would like additional information about proposed legislation, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago worker’s compensation lawyers.