The FY09 annual report is now available online here.
Highlights, according to recently appointed Chairman Weisz, include:
- In FY09, the Commission collected $1.2 million in fines from 105 uninsured employers with 1,300 workers that were found to be operating without workers’ compensation insurance. These fines were used to pay $1.4 million in benefits to 38 injured workers whose uninsured employers failed to pay them;
- New medical fee schedules were created for 1) ambulatory surgical treatment centers; 2) hospital outpatient radiology; pathology and laboratory; physical medicine and rehabilitation services; and surgical services; and 3) rehabilitation hospitals;
- According to the Chairman, using NCCI advisory rates, a 1990 workers’ compensation insurance premium of $100 would cost only $116 in 2010; during the same time, the statewide average weekly wage doubled;
- The number of cases pending at the Commission has declined 20% from the peak of 119,000 cases at the end of FY95 to 96,000 cases at the end of FY09;
- Accident rates have fallen dramatically. Illinois’ 2006 total injury rate was 63% lower than in 1991; and,
- In FY09, the IWCC website received over 8 million hits, representing an 80% increase since FY07.
According to the Commission report, “the perception of Illinois workers’ compensation costs is often different than the reality. Illinois is a high-wage state with a low injury rate.” The FY09 Report also asserts that the workers’ compensation insurance industry in Illinois is “healthy and highly competitive” and that “more insurance companies sell policies in Illinois than in 48 other states”.
The Commission also reported that the addition of a third panel of commissioners authorized by the 2005 law has increased the number of Commission decisions by 50%. Although we cannot confirm that this rather round number is entirely accurate, in our experience the average time between arbitration and review by the Commission has decreased.