Ten Ways To Prepare for the Death Of Workers Comp
This Ten ways to prepare for the Death of Workers Comp comes from how to keep your job. I have waited to return to this subject due to another blogger’s opinion who claims to be a health and Workers’ Comp expert. I never said that the health bill would result in the disappearance of Workers Comp.
I was compared to a tea leaves reader; a black swan; and even the teller of urban legends. I do not outwardly claim to be a guru on Workers Comp as the song says “If I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don’t know.” (Kansas – Point of Know Return). The expert/guru moniker is up to the reader, not the writer.
I think that I touched a nerve in the Workers Comp community. That is fine as I will now cover how to be prepared if Workers Comp is completely federalized. As I have said often in the past, there are steps that the federal government has taken to federalize a state-run Workers Compensation system (Federal Insurance Office; CMS having a database of all Workers Comp data by January 2011; the Health Insurance bill, etc.) To say that the forest does not exist when the trees are already there could be a mistake.
OK, enough about the past, how does one prepare for the future if their career is centered around Workers Comp?
1. Further your designations and degrees. I know of at least five good friends that started their ARM, CPCU, AIC, etc. but have not finished. This would be a great time if you are reimbursed by your current employer.
2. Your boss is your main customer. I will leave that one alone as it is very obvious.
3. Join a Workers Comp based association and make it to conferences. You can never network too much. A very easy way to network is by joining LinkedIn. One of the groups that I am in can be joined at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1328307&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr You will have to sign up for free if you are not already a member.
4. Subscribe to and read all Workers Compensation publications. I subscribe to over 20 different ones. Knowing the environment you work in can never hurt.
5. Realize that the Federalization of Workers Comp does not mean that your job will change that much overall. The variables might change, but it is very unlikely that the process will change.
6. Monitor everything the CMS (Centers for Medicaid/Medicare Services) does in relation to Workers Comp. I think they are going to be a major game changer in the future.
7 . Keep abreast of all the changes in Workers Comp in all states. I often receive the question – How does what happens in another state affect me in the state in which I operate? The answer is no one has reinvented the wheel. For example, the huge legislative changes a few years ago in California were modeled after Florida and other states.
8. An employer needs to increase their level of job safety for their employees. If and when everything begins to inflate, the market will harden and insurance carriers’ underwriting departments will become very picky about which companies they will cover for Workers Comp. A claim that never happens is the best loss control possible.
9. As in #1, keep track of what the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) is doing, especially if they begin expanding their role in insurance. I think they will become a major warehouse for insurance data on a national basis including Workers Comp.
10 . Join an Association or Trade Group where you can share ideas and receive feedback from like-minded individuals. There are many associations and groups that charge little or no fees to join. There are also many free conferences that can be a great place to see what is occurring more globally than just your niche. A great upcoming free conference on safety in North Carolina is http://www.ncsafetyconference.com/ It is a free three day conference.
I actually agree with you that the Fed’s eventually will not be able to leave the states alone. They may federalize the rules, but I believe private carriers and alternative approaches will be used. Same is done with existing Federal covers of USL&H, Jones Act. FELA, Etc.