The Truth About Gov. Rauner’s Illinois Workers’ Compensation “Reform”

 In Workers' Compensation Blog

Illinois Workers' CompensationSince taking office in 2015, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has been battling with the Illinois General Assembly to impose drastic Illinois Workers’ Compensation “Reform.” Noting that Illinois has the eighth highest Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums in the country, Gov. Rauner has argued that the state’s “no-fault” standard of causation has been the determining factor for these higher premiums and must, therefore, be “reformed.” A recent statement by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA), however, points out how Gov. Rauner’s agenda ignores the state’s previous Workers’ Compensation reform efforts and does little to address what actually drives higher premiums: the lack of “insurance premium transparency and oversight.”

In 2011, at the behest of Illinois business leaders and insurance companies, the Illinois General Assembly passed and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a Workers’ Compensation “Reform” Package that aimed to lower insurance premium costs. Despite the changes implemented by the Reform Package, however, ITLA argues that “the insurance industry has pocketed enormous profits and has not passed any savings along to employers.”

Troubling Illinois Workers’ Compensation Facts

ITLA notes that this failure to reduce Illinois Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums is especially troubling in light of the following facts:

  • Since the 2011 Reform Package, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), an insurance industry rate-making agency, has recommended an almost 30 percent reduction in Illinois Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums, one that should have resulted in $2 billion in savings for Illinois employers.  The NCCI has also advocated for a 12.9 percent cut in Illinois Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums in 2017, which would add up to a greater reduction than in all neighboring states combined and amount to the third largest cut nationwide.
  • Workers’ Compensation medical payments to injured workers in Illinois have fallen nearly 15 percent since 2011, with lower average payments than in Iowa, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
  • Between 2010 and 2014, total benefits to Illinois workers decreased by over 20 percent.  Despite these savings to insurance providers, however, employer costs only fell 4.4 percent during the same period, even though there are 332 Workers’ Compensation insurance companies competing in Illinois, more than in any other state in the country.

Based on these and other statistics, ITLA concludes that “there is no evidence that further reductions to worker benefits will yield significant savings to employers.”

Gov. Rauner and Illinois Republicans: The Real “Reform” Agenda

The real “Reform” agenda of Gov. Rauner and the Illinois Republicans could not be clearer. They want to take away even more of the rights of injured workers in Illinois.

We can’t let them further undermine the system that protects our workers and their families. Please contact your legislators and let them know that we won’t allow them to destroy Workers’ Compensation in our state. And please remember to vote against the Republicans who want to eliminate your rights.

If you or someone you know is ever injured in any type of accident, please call our office immediately for a free consultation and let GWC Injury Lawyers, Illinois’ largest Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury law firm, protect you and your family. Call GWC 24/7 at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives today.

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