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Federalization of Workers Comp – Possible Game Changer

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Federalization of Workers Comp Marches On

The National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Act of 2013 has just been again backed  by the US House of Representatives.  There are many articles and this blog first had coined the phrase – federalization of Workers Comp which has been picked up by many bloggers – some vehemently against the idea that the Feds are looking to nationalize WC.  

Picture Of People Federalization of Workers Comp In US House Of Representative
Wikimedia – Susan Sterner

I always like to read the bills in their entirety to make sure there is nothing thrown in that has anything to do with the title of the bill.   After all, I did read the Obamacare Act from front to back when it was finalized.

The excerpt provided a few concerns and questions.   While agencies may need to be multi-state, why is there an inclusion of duties that are not performed by agents and brokers?   The bolded text also covers:

  • Claims Adjusters
  • Insurance Consultants

There is already a reciprocal agreement between most states for out-of-state adjuster licenses when adjusting files across state lines.  I actually possessed eight state licenses a few years ago.   As agents/brokers are not really allowed to tender file settlements, one has to wonder what is mean by the below text in bold.    

 

Picture Of Hand Pointing Federalization of Workers Comp Membership Text On Screen
StockUnlimited

This may never make it out of the House as the bill has been recycled three times before heading to the Senate.   I could be over-reading the text.  You may want to read the bill or at least the below summary.   

I will follow this bill and blog on it if there are any changes.  


The following  is an excerpt of the bill:

Reestablishes the NARAB without contingent conditions as a nonprofit corporation to prescribe, on a multi-state basis, licensing and insurance producer qualification requirements and conditions.   

Retains states’ regulatory authority over: (1) licensing, continuing education, and other qualification requirements of non-NARAB producers; (2) resident or nonresident producer appointment requirements; (3) supervision and disciplining of such producers; and (4) setting of licensing fees for insurance producers.

Authorizes NARAB to: (1) establish membership criteria, including a mandatory criminal background check of the producer’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identification record for state-licensed insurance producers, and (2) deny membership to a state-licensed insurance producer on the basis of the criminal history information obtained, or where the producer has been subject to certain disciplinary action.

Prohibits NARAB from establishing criteria that unfairly limit the ability of a small insurance producer to become a member of NARAB.

Hand Holding Federalization of Workers Comp Blackboard Membership Concept
StockUnlimited

Authorizes the NARAB to establish separate classes of membership and membership criteria, and requires it to do so for business entities.

Authorizes the NARAB to deny membership to any state-licensed insurance producer for failure to meet membership criteria.

States that NARAB membership authorizes an insurance producer to engage in the business of insurance in any state for any lines of insurance specified in the producer’s home state license, including claims adjustments and settlement, risk management, and specified insurance-related consulting activities.

Retains state regulatory jurisdiction regarding: (1) consumer protection and market conduct, and (2) state disciplinary authority.

Requires NARAB to: (1) receive and investigate consumer complaints, maintaining a toll-free telephone number; and (2) refer any such complaint to the state insurance regulator.

Authorizes the NARAB to coordinate with state insurance regulators to establish: (1) a central clearinghouse, and (2) a national database for the collection of regulatory information concerning the activities of insurance producers.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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