Letters to the Editor

More needs to be done to reduce costs

After reading the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s (ITLA) recent op-ed, which continued a false narrative regarding the Illinois workers compensation insurance market, we felt the need to set the record straight.

While the reforms of 2011 have reduced costs some, more can be done to further reduce costs for employers and care for injured workers. The real facts are these:

▪  The wage replacement and medical costs that drive workers compensation continue to be much higher here than in most states. According to the annual, national Oregon study of workers compensation systems, Illinois has the 7th most expensive such insurance costs in the nation (down from 4th a few years ago)

▪ The Illinois Department of Insurance reported the five-year average profit for Illinois workers compensation insurers was 0.8%, significantly lower than the 4.4% nationally

Instead of sensationalism and deception, the ITLA should work with insurers on meaningful measures such as Medicare-based fee schedules and drug reforms that lower costs and do not adversely impact worker’s well-being.

Jeffrey Junkas, assistant vice president, State Government Relations, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America; Kevin Martin, executive director, Illinois Insurance Association; Stephen Schneider, midwest region vice president, American Insurance Association; Jeffrey L. Brewer, vice president public affairs, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America..