Tag Archives: insurance rates

Legislative Preview for Work Comp in 2016

Common wisdom suggests that major workers’ compensation legislative activity won’t take place during an election year. For 2016, that would seem to hold true.

That is not to say, however, that various interested parties will be sitting idly by, waiting for the clock to turn to 2017.

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL ADD TO THE LIST OF CHRONIC PAIN GUIDELINES

On Jan. 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) closed the public comment period for its proposed Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. According to the CDC, the guideline is being proposed to offer “… clarity on recommendations based on the most recent scientific evidence, informed by expert opinion, with stakeholder and constituent input considered.”

The guideline goes to great lengths to address two important issues. The first is that current guidelines in many states – both public and private – are based on dated information. The second, which is critical, adds to the growing number of voices to say that best practices for providers include accessing physician drug monitoring programs (PDMP) to reduce the risk of doctor shopping and toxic – and sometimes fatal – mixtures of prescription drugs when the patient provides incomplete histories or none at all of their drug use (both prescription and illicit).

This need to access a PDMP before, and during, treatment with opioids is echoed by the Medical Board of California (MBC) and the DWC. Their comments also underscore a considerable problem facing California policymakers when trying to create incentives for providers to use the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) without directly mandating access.

This dilemma is best summed up by the analysis of Senate Bill 482 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D – Bell Gardens) that is at the Assembly Desk pending referral to committee. The bill, which would mandate participation in the CURES system as well as other measures to curb the abuse of opioids, has garnered opposition from medical associations and one medical malpractice insurer. The opposition, according to analyses by legislative staff, is based on two issues – the first being whether the CURES system is capable of handling the volume of inquiries a mandate would engender, and the second being concern that requiring CURES access will become a standard of care that could subject providers to malpractice liability.

As to the former, this issue arose during the campaign waged against the 2014 ballot measure Proposition 46. According to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), “Currently, CURES does not have sufficient capacity to handle the higher level of use that is expected to occur when providers are required to register beginning in 2016.” This raises an important question – does the CURES system now have the capability to meet the demand that a mandate would create? If it doesn’t, then the legislature needs to understand why.

As to the second issue, it is difficult to comprehend the level of distrust that is subsumed in the position that opposing a mandatory review of possible prescription drug abuse by a patient would establish more potential malpractice liability than knowing that the CURES database exists and not checking it. In time, perhaps, it will be the appellate courts that resolve that issue.

There is no shortage of guidelines that address the appropriate use and cessation of use of opioids for non-cancer chronic pain. The DWC is finalizing its latest iteration on this issue as part of the MTUS. It will differ from both the CDC and the MBC guidelines to some degree, but the overall treatment of this issue is very similar. In addition, the division will be implementing a prescription drug formulary as required by Assembly Bill 1124 by former Assembly member Henry Perea (D – Fresno). That, too, will likely provide opportunities to address the proper use of opioids in the workers’ compensation context, preferably after the chronic pain guidelines are completed.

As noted by the CDC and the MBC, and implicit in the DWC’s guidelines, this is not just a question of UR. If all the work by the division is simply viewed as a more effective way of saying “no” regardless of the circumstances, then the public health issues associated with the abuses of opioids will continue.

Workers’ Compensation Insights is a bi-monthly publication of Prop 23 Advisors. Subscribers will receive in-depth analyses of pending California legislation and regulations, review of important WCAB and appellate court decisions and commentary on trends within the system in California and nationally. To read the rest of this newsletter, click here.

Affordable Car Insurance for Under-25s

Parents of new drivers know what they are up against when they are faced with insurance rates, but the increased premiums can still be a bit of a shock. Because teen drivers are considered to be the most “at risk,” insurance rates are expensive. In fact, insuring a young male driver may boost an insurance bill by 92%, while a female driver of the same age will boost the bill about 67%.

Before You Insure, Talk With Your Teen

Your teen may assume that, as soon as she is licensed, she has the freedom to drive immediately and as freely as she wishes. Before you insure your teen, talk to her about your expectations, such as distraction-free driving or driving during daylight hours. Make it clear that if your expectations are not met, you can cancel insurance and revoke driving privileges or you can ask your teen to take some of the financial responsibility of the insurance premium. Given the hefty price tag, you will probably have a teen committed to safe driving. Make decisions that work for you and your family and stay firm with your expectations. Remember, your teen driver must be insured, even if she drives infrequently.

Holding Your Teen Accountable for Safety

If your teen agrees to drive safely and adhere to any of your driving rules, he will most likely have the best intentions of sticking to it, but teens are sometimes easy to persuade; the whole peer pressure thing is still alive and well, including when it comes to driving.

Fortunately, there are apps and tracking devices to monitor the way your teen really drives. While you may feel like you are overstepping your grounds of trust, think of monitoring as added security. These apps/devices will not only encourage your teen to drive safely and keep him safe on the road, but may also get you an insurance discount from certain companies:

  • Tracking Driving Habits With GPS: There are several relatively inexpensive products on the market that plug directly into the car’s diagnostic port and track driving habits. You can set particular speeds or perimeter limits, and if your teen driver exceeds the speed or goes “out of bounds” you will be notified via text or email. Being able to “see” the way your teen really drives can help you have constructive conversations about her driving choices and habits. There are also a few apps on the market that will do the same thing as the plug-in tracker.
  • Prevent Texting and Driving: One thing that most teens will continually try to do is text and drive, regardless of the laws or safety concerns. Rather than struggling to take the phone away, install an app that will prevent your driver from texting while driving. This app must be turned on by the driver (so there is a level of responsibility and trust required), but once it’s working, the app will prevent the driver from seeing or hearing any incoming messages or calls.

Decreasing Insurance Rates Before 25

While insurance rates often decrease when the young driver turns 25, there are ways to have discounted insurance for your teen. Depending on your insurance, you may be able to receive a reduced rate if:

  • Your Teen Gets Good Grades: Some insurance companies offer a discount if your teen driver maintains a certain GPA. This is just another incentive for your teen to try harder at school. The situation is basically a math problem: Good grades=Car privileges.
  • Drive a Safer Car: Although a standard sedan may not be your teen’s dream car, if it’s got a good safety rating and airbags/anti-lock brakes, you may be able to receive reduced insurance.
  • Take a Class: Many older drivers can receive an insurance discount if they take a class to brush up on their driving knowledge, and some companies offer the same for teen drivers.

If your teen commits to driving safely, makes efforts to keep insurance rates low and keeps a clean driving record, his car insurance premium should be lower before the magic age of 25.

Whether your teen driver is in a crash with an uninsured driver or if you fail to provide your young driver with insurance, you may need to hire a car accident lawyer to help you sort out any legal issues in the event of a car accident.

Unintended Consequences Of Exchange Rate Filings

For most states offering health care exchanges, rate filings were due by May 1, 2013. Each carrier hoping to operate within the exchange had to finalize their benefit offering and related rate filing. Some of the results are gradually emerging as regulators review the filings. Some have been rejected, some have been accepted and approved, some are going through various stages of review and revision. The interesting result of this process is finding out what rates will be and what costs carriers expect.

Prior to the actual submission process, multiple reports were issued prognosticating what rate levels might emerge. Some of these reports suggested that the anticipated morbidity levels (i.e., claim levels) for those enrolling in these programs would be higher than current individual benefit programs. This was logical to most — the hard part was the anticipation of what was a reasonable load in light of what other companies might assume and use in their pricing.

We learned of estimates ranging from a low of at or above 10% to a high approaching 45% – 50%. An important consideration is the nature of the current individual products offered in the marketplace (i.e., are they individually underwritten or were they guarantee issue). In those states where health plans and carriers were permitted to medically underwrite the product, the transition to a guarantee issue product will be greater than in those states where the product was already a guarantee issue product.

Early results from several states show that some major carriers assumed lower than expected morbidity factors, with other carriers attempting to withdraw their filings and resubmitting more competitive rates. We are not aware of any exchange where carriers decided to withdraw and raise rates.

The unintended consequence of this is very interesting. Rates will be lower than many experts predicted. The market pressures have been significant with companies trying to reduce their rates. Whether this is the result of competitive pressure or a knee-jerk reaction to stay in the market, it is unclear at this time what this will do to financial performance. Under health care reform, carriers are at risk to enroll individuals that have a higher health status and risk profile. These individuals were uninsured in the past and now are going to enroll in some program or be subject to financial penalties.

For those individuals who were skeptical about the cost effectiveness of health care reform, this will have an interesting impact on premium levels. For those who anticipated some cost reductions, it is unclear that they anticipated this type of response. It is our understanding that complete rate results will be released in the State of California later this week. It will be very interesting to see how different carriers developed their rates.

The bottom line is that carriers have responded in somewhat of an unexpected way, a rather bullish approach which will have a favorable impact on health premiums.

The Search For True Healthcare Transparency

Transparency, The New Buzzword In Healthcare
Healthcare price and quality have been nearly impossible to determine. Consumers can compare prices and quality of nearly everything they purchased, except healthcare — which truly has life and death implications.

Today, there is a new demand for healthcare transparency driven by:

  • Employers’ efforts to contain escalating costs
  • High-performing providers distinguishing their efficiency (price) and proficiency (quality)
  • Consumers seeking better value

Accomplishing this requires unearthing true and independently determined value — not just “secret” negotiated insurance rates, artificial fee schedules and quality metrics of questionable relevance.

Unknowingly purchasing healthcare with large price variations is a major cause of healthcare inflation and is estimated to cost Americans with employer-sponsored insurance as much as $36 billion a year.1 A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed prices ranging from a low of $1,529 to a whopping high of $182,955 for an appendectomy!2

California Study on Appendix Removals

The mystery of healthcare pricing contributes significantly to the escalating cost of healthcare burdening consumers, employers and taxpayers. Introducing transparency to the healthcare market will shrink price and quality disparities — saving employers and employees money while they receive better quality care.

Quality is as important a factor as price, yet most consumers do not incorporate it into their healthcare decisions, largely because that information is not readily available. Online opinions of physicians and hospitals generally focus on wait times or communication skills rather than clinical qualifications and outcomes. The former makes you comfortable or uncomfortable; the latter can be costly, even deadly.

So quality does matter. In fact, more than one quarter of inpatient stays experience a medical error: 13.5 percent of Medicare/Medicaid hospital patients experienced an adverse event (a serious event, including death and disability) and another 13.5 percent experienced some other temporary harm that required intervention, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Transparency — The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

The Good: Consumers want full transparency and with the convergence of technology, data availability and better analytics, it’s increasingly available and affordable.

The Bad: With more companies entering the transparency market, each one defines transparency as they see it, causing confusion and making comparison difficult. Worse, some parties actively impede transparency by claiming data ownership and censoring data for their own benefit.

The Ugly: Many companies touting transparency merely slap the transparency tag on products having little or nothing to do with transparency. Or worse, advertise it but then suggest a plan to develop it; in another word, vaporware. Perhaps most disturbing are companies selling their version of transparency while failing to disclose conflicts of interest.

Transparency Criteria
Optimal transparency solutions should, at the least, meet criteria in four categories: unbiased, credible, meaningful and measurable. This article examines findings from a comparative summary of “transparency” companies in these four important categories.

Monocle Health Data conducted a study of seven companies alleging to provide either price and/or quality transparency of some sort. We developed and applied 25 criteria in the four categories named above. We did our best to verify accuracy and graded each company by these criteria using a simple three-tiered grade.

  • Plus — the capability was confirmed
  • Unknown — capability could not be determined
  • Minus — the capability did not exist or there was a clear deficiency

This study includes 200 footnotes documenting the findings. If you are interested in using our proprietary transparency comparison format or want more info, you may request it through info@monoclehealth.com. There is no charge. The following is a summary of significant findings.

Unbiased

1. Three of the seven were founded, owned or controlled by insurance companies or healthcare providers. This creates an inherent conflict of interest. What is most disturbing about these three is their lack of, well, transparency. They don’t reveal their potential conflicts. With a little research we found the conflicts, but no customer should have to work that hard — especially for a service that purports to give customers the full truth. These three companies’ conflicts were numerous and included:

  • Being founded by a consortium of state hospital associations;
  • Partially owned by a well-known hospital system;
  • Owned by a company marketing U.S. provider networks;
  • Publicly stated plans to offer its own provider network; and finally,
  • Owned by a global medical tourism company representing its own network.

2. Two of the seven promoted a provider network from which they receive compensation. Any time a seller claims to sell a “truth” product such as transparency, other sources of compensation from influential parties in the transaction should be divulged. In fact, for many industries it’s the law (think auto dealer rebates and real estate agencies). The conflict isn’t just the unseemly hidden compensation. In order to make networks attractive, their reps sell on access first and foremost, not quality or price. And there’s the rub. When networks include 90 percent of providers in the market, in the best case scenario, the network includes the best 50 percent and worst 40 percent of providers. And we all know about the wide disparities in healthcare price and quality. Broad network access — by definition — engenders disparities.

If a transparency company is selling access to a preferred network, it no longer has an incentive to reveal disparities (aka deficiencies) within its network. They’re paid to sell their network — not reveal provider-specific performance. And if they can get you to pay an access fee for the privilege of ignorance, well, they see that as an even more profitable sale — at your expense.

3. Three of the seven accept advertising revenues from providers as a primary source of revenue. Any transparency solution accepting ad revenues from those it’s supposed to evaluate without bias should be taken off the list of legitimate transparency solutions; they’re just one level away from “pay-to-play.”

Credible

1. Pay to play — Two companies use third-party sources that charge providers to participate in their “quality” assessment or to be more prominently displayed. And if the provider doesn’t pay the participation fee, it receives a “no score” which translates to a failing score. You can’t buy credibility. Worse yet, much of the data used in these companies’ “transparency” tools are from their own databases — not independent, recognized organizations.

2. Most companies did not use independently verified, fact-based information that has been cross-referenced from nationally recognized organizations. In fact, two of them used opinion surveys as their primary transparency tool, emphasizing the patient experience while ignoring independently verified, fact-based information. Opinion surveys are nice but patients want the best care possible, not just a pleasant experience, despite the trendy (and misleading) exclamation, “It’s all about the customer experience!”

3. Healthcare price and quality transparency is not the primary business for four of these companies. Those four companies’ primary businesses range from hospital consulting to selling networks to medical tourism to selling mobile apps. If a company’s primary business isn’t transparency, you know the business has other priorities that can change quickly — unbeknownst to the customer. If you want dedicated transparency services, free of conflicts, you’re most likely to receive that from a company dedicated to it as a primary business and core competency.

4. Use of appropriate comparative data — amazingly, six of the seven transparency companies failed this test. Most incorrectly compare Medicare data to commercial populations, use generic UCR fee schedules instead of the average cash payment, use market ranges instead of provider-specific data, or use an overall quality score that isn’t disease or procedure specific. Consumers have a right to know more than just whether a hospital earned a superior overall score — they have a right to know the score for treating their specific illness, and to know where each provider ranks for treating that illness.

5. Verifiable information from multiple credible sources and not just a company’s own database. Proprietary algorithms are one thing, but referencing a company’s own database as a valid source is intellectually dishonest. If the transparency company won’t or can’t provide auditable detail to support its findings, it lacks credibility. Keep in mind that data from at least two credible organizations is needed to validate conclusions. Only one transparency company met this standard.

Meaningful

1. Only one of the seven transparency companies used severity adjustments of appropriate data populations using at least two recognized severity-adjustment methodologies. Four of the seven didn’t demonstrate any severity adjustment capability. Severity adjustments allow for valid comparisons on a disease-specific, provider-specific basis so individuals can find providers who treat similar patients proficiently and efficiently.

2. Provider price rankings and quality ratings for both chronic illnesses and episodic care for hospitals and doctors on the same platform was offered by only one of the seven companies. The standard approach was to provide a price for each procedure, office visit, prescription, lab test, imaging procedure, etc. and let the user compile the total cost — if they can. With chronic illnesses comprising two-thirds of all benefit costs, it is critically important to rank and rate providers based on price and quality on a severity-adjusted basis for managing a chronic illness, including all costs for treatment, over an entire year.

3. In- and out-of-network provider comparisons were offered by only three of the seven companies (see Unbiased above). A meaningful transparency solution should provide consumers with ratings and rankings on providers who are both in- and out-of-network. Any “transparency” solution that excludes out-of-network providers isn’t transparency, it’s self-serving censorship detrimental to the consumer.

This is particularly important with high-deductible plans. I’ll give my personal experience: Pfizer sent me a Lipitor $4 copay card. I took it to CVS Pharmacy and was told that under my health plan, I would have to pay $250 for using a brand medication instead of generic — but they’d gladly reduce this by $4. I thought this surely was a mistake so I called CIGNA and was told its in-network pharmacy’s interpretation (CVS) was correct. CIGNA doesn’t tell consumers that it’s cheaper to fill prescriptions at out-of-network providers.

Excluding out-of-network providers isn’t transparency — it’s charging users for the privilege of buying high-cost services from in-network providers. Perhaps it’s time to question the value of networks — and any transparency solution that ignores out-of-network providers.

4. Robust analytic report package updated monthly. Six of the seven companies don’t offer monthly analytic reports. Another transparency requirement should be timely reports generated from robust analytics and the ability to “drill down” into the data to see exactly why and how each provider earned their ranking and rating. You deserve to know the supporting facts — after all this is transparency. True transparency is driven by analytics and subject matter expertise, not just a provider directory lacking supporting analytics.

Measurable

1. Only one solution ranks by price and rates quality by quartile. Almost all of the transparency companies use a three-, four- or five-star rating system. Unfortunately, since half of the transparency companies in this study also sell networks, the rankings and ratings are largely meaningless — they only rate in-network providers and almost all of the providers are rated as average or better. This is unrealistic. In fact, the biggest disparities between provider price and quality performance are in the bottom 50 percent. Consumers deserve to know true rankings and ratings so they can avoid the bottom 50 percent of doctors and find a doctor in the top 50 percent who best meets their needs. Ranking doctors and hospitals by quartile gives consumers a short list of the best doctors, for specific diseases, to choose from — not just an endorsement of another network.

2. Only one solution offers an on-line, interactive data cube to support users requiring sophisticated analytics. This enables a robust, flexible, user-friendly reporting package that’s population-specific to each employer and allows employers to establish dashboards and benchmarks for health plan performance and their vendors (e.g. network performance, disease/medical/case management). Five companies did not offer any reporting package.

3. Only two companies offer a savings measurement tool. One company provides an ROI worksheet using employer-specific assumptions to calculate savings. An important transparency feature is the ability to project accurate ROI and savings using employers’ own assumptions — before and after engaging the transparency company. Savings projection tools, along with the analytic reports, give the employer actionable intelligence to identify areas of improvement and measure vendor performance.

Summary
The rise of healthcare transparency is inevitable — it epitomizes the old saying, “How do you keep them down on the farm once they’ve seen the big city?” Consumers are slowly realizing that not only should they be able to see price and quality information on healthcare providers — they have the right to see accurate, meaningful information.

The healthcare industry is on the cusp of tremendous change brought about by the adoption of healthcare IT solutions. The ability to extract data which can then be shared with consumers will forever change the way healthcare quality is measured, and create new pricing metrics that extend far beyond in-network and out-of-network.

1 Save $36 Billion in U.S. Healthcare Spending Through Price Transparency (White paper), Thompson Reuters, February 2012.

2 Renee Y. Hsia, MD, MSc; Abbas H. Kothari, BA; Tanja Srebotnjak, PhD; Judy Maselli, MSPH. Health Care as a “Market Good”? Appendicitis as a Case Study; Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(10):818-819.

Changes In California Workers' Compensation

Out of the Frying Pan And Into The Fire — Jumping Into SB 863

As we look toward 2013, one thing is certain — it will be a year of change for California workers’ compensation. With the passing of the hotly debated reform legislation, SB 863, which takes effect on January 1, 2013, proponents are hopeful that the changes will have a positive impact on the current state of California’s workers’ compensation system. While SB 863 was drafted to reform the workers’ compensation system, its intent is different than that of SB 899, legislation passed in 2004. SB 899 revamped and reduced workers’ compensation benefits. SB 863 increases benefits to the injured employees while decreasing system costs by improving efficiency and eliminating “waste” in the form of excessive medical and legal costs.

There is no question that SB 863 addresses key issues that have been on the forefront of debate following the implementation of SB 899, many of which are positive for both employers and injured employees. While most agree that reform was needed, the net effect that the SB 863 changes will have on California insurance rates is also hotly debated because of other factors that need to be considered including carrier loss ratios and economic factors. While the regulations are still being drafted, the following summarizes some of the highlights, possible challenges and the potential impact on California workers’ compensation rates.

Indemnity Benefits
While successfully addressing a number of failings in the workers’ compensation system, it is widely accepted that one of the failings that SB 863 will address is one of the unintended results of the implementation of SB 899 in 2004 — that permanent disability rates provided inadequate compensation to some injured employees. The SB 863 legislation:

  • Increases permanent disability payouts over a 2-year period with annual adjustments
  • Eliminates “add-ons” to permanent disability, including sleep disorder and sexual dysfunction, though psych will be allowed for catastrophic injury or violent workplace incident
  • Addresses Diminished Future Earnings Capacity (DFEC) via a standard multiplier to the permanent disability rating formula
  • Creates a Return to Work Program for those injured employees whose permanent disability is disproportionately low for their loss of earnings capacity
  • Caps the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit (SJDB) at $6,000 — currently at $10,000

The increases in permanent disability benefits are expected to cost $310M next year and almost double in 2014. However, the elimination of some of the add-ons to permanent disability and changes to the impact of diminished future earnings capacity under the Ogilvie case are expected to save $210M per year. The Return to Work Program will be funded through employer assessments at a cost of $120M per year.

The Independent Medical Review (IMR) Process
SB 863 places California on the burner with what many consider a radical approach to addressing medical treatment disputes. The new Independent Medical Review Process contemplates the following:

  • The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board will no longer have jurisdiction to hear medical disputes directed to Independent Medical Review.
  • The Independent Medical Review process is binding on all parties with only limited appeal.
  • Employers shall fund the Independent Medical Review process, based on a fee schedule to be established by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
  • Implementation will be staggered, beginning January 1, 2013 and being completed by July 1, 2013 and will apply to all Utilization Review decisions.

The Independent Medical Review process is expected to eliminate excessive costs and delays in litigating medical disputes. However, the savings attributable to the implementation and the costs to employers have not yet been quantified, as the process is still being defined. The California Applicants’ Attorneys’ Association is questioning whether the Independent Medical Review process meets due process requirements and it is likely that it will be challenged in court.

Liens
Historically, liens have been one of the biggest cost drivers in the workers’ compensation system, creating bottlenecks in litigation and an administrative burden on carriers and administrators. Following are some changes to the lien process under SB 863:

  • Firm time limits for filing liens
  • $150 lien filing fee — recoverable if the lien provider prevails
  • If not correctly filed, liens are null and void
  • Bundling of liens is prohibited
  • Prevents filing if lien is subject to the Independent Medical Review process

This aspect of SB 863 is applauded by most as defining a clear process for addressing liens while virtually eliminating unnecessary litigation and frivolous liens. A preliminary analysis by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau states that these changes should result in a $450M annual savings to the industry.

Summary
Although many of the changes arising from SB 863 are positive for the future of California’s workers’ compensation system, there are still potential challenges and uncertainty. It is likely that the constitutionality of the Independent Medical Review process will be challenged in court. While the effect of Ogilvie has essentially been eliminated, Guzman is still active case law. Add-ons could become an issue again, depending on how “catastrophic injury” and “violent workplace incident” are defined. Further, carriers and administrators have new processes to implement by January 1, 2013, some of which have not yet been defined and will require specialized staffing.

The passing of SB 863 holds the promise of lower claims costs, improved efficiency and ultimately rate relief for California employers. Initial reports from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau estimated savings at $1B the first year and $270M annually thereafter. However, these savings figures have been recently reduced in their latest report. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau also reports a 0% increase to pure premium rates effective January 1, 2013, but there are other market factors that need to be considered when looking at the overall impact. Many carriers still have loss ratios around 130%, which along with medical inflation, was contributing to about an 18% rate increase without SB 863. With claim development still an issue and the potential increased cost of implementing some of the processes and benefits set forth in SB 863, it is likely that California will not see the immediate reduction in rates that it experienced following SB 899. Instead, there is hope that the provisions of the new reform will quell the burning increases in rates and bring some relief to employers in the form of stabilization and predictability.

InterWest Insurance Services is on the forefront of this legislation and has had representatives attend many of political hearings regarding SB 863. In early 2013, as part of the InterWest Employer’s School, we will hold several seminars on the SB 863 reform laws for our clients and prospective clients, focusing on its impact on California businesses and the insurance market.

Jennifer Weathersbee collaborated with Chuck Coppage in writing this article. Chuck Coppage manages the Alternative Markets Division for InterWest Insurance Services where he assists in identifying clients who would benefit from insurance solutions involving risk transfer as part of their overall financial management strategy.