Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the plan would bring about savings through changes in assessment collections, closing a special fund, and increased competitiveness, among other provisions.
The proposals were included in the governor's recently passed state budget. Injured workers would see their minimum weekly benefits increased to $150 from $100.
In a recent statement, the governor outlined the following savings he said the plan would generate:
- Annual assessments from employers. A single method to collect these payments would eliminate "an overly complicated and bureaucratic system that was not only expensive for the state but also for employers," Cuomo said. Self-insured employers would save an estimated $500 million.
- Closing the Fund for Reopened Cases and increasing competitiveness in the workers' comp insurance market would save an estimated $300 million. The fund makes payments for certain old and reopened claims. By closing the fund, businesses will no longer need to make payments into it. Increased competitiveness in the workers' comp insurance market will help drive down costs and provide relief to businesses.
- Resolving the defaulted group trust crisis. An estimated 10,000 businesses in the state are burdened with an estimated $850 million in liabilities as a result of a crisis created by deceptive business practices among several insurance entities. The insurer had offered low-cost premiums "yet failed to maintain adequate funds for workers' comp benefits," the statement said. "When the fraud was discovered and it became clear the trusts were insolvent, thousands of New York's businesses were socked with high and often unmanageable costs." The governor's plan creates a bonding program to assist the self-insured employers resolve their liabilities.
The governor also noted the Workers' Compensation Board will begin accepting injury reports electronically from insurers using a national standard this summer. "This will cut paper handling costs, greatly improve system oversight and guarantee benefits are paid timely to injured workers," the statement said. "As a result of the governor's reforms, New York is reforming the electronic filing process and leveraging technology to implement an aggressive agenda of structural change in the workers' comp system."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
May 13, 2013
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