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Illinois governor proposes workers comp amendments to insurance reform bill

Illinois governor proposes workers comp amendments to insurance reform bill

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Sunday proposed amendments to an omnibus bill that aims to overhaul parts of the Illinois Insurance Code, including how workers compensation rates are calculated.

S.B. 1737, sponsored by state Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-Chicago, amends the Illinois Insurance Code and, among other provisions, contains language that would require the preapproval of workers comp insurance rates by the Illinois Department of Insurance.

In a letter addressed to Illinois lawmakers, Gov. Rauner said the bill would “impose detrimental new limitations on certain types of health coverage upon Illinois consumers and would overregulate our competitive market for workers compensation insurance.”

“This legislation, much like other workers compensation legislation passed by the General Assembly in recent years, demonstrates a misunderstanding of the true cost drivers in our system and increases regulation to the detriment of Illinois businesses and individuals, to whom additional costs will inevitably be passed on,” he wrote in his letter Sunday.

The American Insurance Association’s Steve Schneider, vice president for state affairs for the group’s Midwest region, issued a statement Monday applauding the governor’s decision to return S.B. 1737 to the Illinois Legislature with amendments.

“As passed, S.B. 1737 was a mixed bag — it included reasonable, sensible reforms as well as poorly conceived government-driven rate controls … Governor Rauner sent the bill back to the legislature suggesting the removal of the latter because of its fundamental ‘misunderstanding of the true cost drivers in our system’ and its regulatory increase ‘to the detriment of Illinois businesses and individuals.’”


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