Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of January 29, 2024

Oregon — To all entities transacting insurance in Oregon: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has issued a bulletin regarding Paid Leave Oregon as an “Other Benefit” that reduces Short-Term Disability benefits.

Purpose

This bulletin provides guidance on the Division of Financial Regulation’s (DFR) expectations of insurers who write Short Term Disability policies, in light of the recent implementation of the Paid Leave Oregon program.

Guidance for Insurers

If the terms of a Short-Term Disability (STD) policy allow the insurer to reduce STD benefits due in any part to the availability of Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) benefits, all plan documents must clearly and conspicuously inform consumers that:

1. They might be eligible for medical leave benefits under the PLO program;

2. The insurer might require the consumer to apply for PLO and, if so, the extent to which the person must pursue their PLO application (such as, “through the highest appeal level,” as set forth above), and;

3. The extent to which STD benefits will be reduced on account of PLO benefits received by the worker.

Click here to review this bulletin:

https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/Bulletins/bulletin2024-01.pdf

Washington — Work Comp Rates Up in Washington, Down Most Everywhere Else: Most states are seeing a reduction in workers compensation insurance rates for 2024. Washington isn’t.

Look for an average rate hike of 4.9%.

As one of the four monopolistic states, Washington does not allow private insurers to sell work comp policies. The other three are North Dakota, Ohio and Wyoming. Neither of those states are asking for an increase but are — like most states — cutting rates.

The jump this year follows last year’s average hike of 4.8% and the increase of 3.1% in 2022.

The Association of Washington Business president, Kris Johnson is disappointed.

“We’re disappointed that Washington once again missed an opportunity to lower costs for employers and to help them navigate this challenging economy,” Johnson said.

Source link: Business Insurance — https://bit.ly/48RGflC

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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