Tuesday, June 24, 2008
New York’s group self insurance industry has brought needed relief to home care agencies and many other New York small businesses burdened by the high cost of workers’ compensation insurance.
Group self insurance trusts offer valuable, cost-effective benefits to small businesses. These trusts provide stable and competitive rates and a focus on worker safety and loss control, which are critical to establishing long-term savings through a reduction in injuries. Group self insurance trusts enable participants to reduce workers’ compensation costs by providing a lower cost alternative to traditional workers’ compensation coverage.
While several New York group self insurance trusts have failed this is a reflection of the mismanagement of these trusts and not the industry as a whole. The Workers’ Compensation Board has the responsibility to assure that open worker claims left by such trusts are paid. As a quick fix it has shifted the burden to healthy trusts, leaving the entire industry in distress and thousands of small businesses in peril (Firms scramble for workers’ comp, 6.13.08).
Without intervention by the State Legislature fiscally responsible trusts will be forced to pay assessments totaling millions of dollars to finance the misdeeds of others – a cost some trusts will not be able to absorb. The result will be thousands of small businesses paying more for insurance than they can reasonably afford. HCP urges Legislators to address this issue in a way that does not penalize healthy trusts and ensures workers are provided appropriate compensation and medical care.
Christine L. Johnston
The writer is Executive Vice President of the New York State Association of Health Care Providers, Inc. (HCP), a statewide trade association representing the full spectrum of home and community-based providers.