We Are Involved In Montana Workers' Compensation System
September 20, 2023 by: Michael J. Marsh
I have been asked numerous times about the State of Montana and the workers' compensation system in the state. These conversations take place in casual settings and in more formal business meetings. The questions have come from a great variety of individuals. Evidently Montana has a workers' compensation "reputation".
These conversations have been with Montana legislators, large captive and self-insured organizations doing business in Montana, the Mayor of a large regional city, claims executives and friends from other states and a variety of business owners in Montana and other states considering a move or expansion to Montana. My position on a number of non-profit boards of directors, including the local county-based economic development authority, provides exposure to many people that would not normally be in a meeting with a wc claims person.
The cost of workers' compensation has been keenly in the minds of many for the past decade or two. With recent significant increases in the costs of living and doing business, the cost of workers' compensation has become an even more important issue. Montana was known to be the most expensive jurisdiction in the mid-2000's. With systemic changes made in 2007 and 2011, the system began to function more efficiently, for our exposures litigation rates dropped and overall costs flattened. In the 2022 Oregon premium survey, Montana has dropped from the most expensive state to the 15th most expensive. Progress on the premium side while not significantly changing the benefits paid to recovering workers.
Twenty years ago, business inquiries and TPA Request for Proposal sessions almost always had component of "local expertise". Years ago we at Midland Claims made the decision to NOT expand to other states. With our significant experience managing claims in 35 states, we wanted to take a new approach. Across the entire company we chose to be the "local experts". That takes getting involved, and remaining involved. The primary thing that differentiates Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims® from other workers' compensation claims administrators is our local involvement and expertise.
We have been an official member of or significantly involved in Montana with:
- Governor's Labor Management Advisory Council (member)
- Stay At Work / Return To Work Committee (member)
- WorkSafeMT (Chairman)
- 2007 and 2011 Statutory Revisions (member of public, stakeholder and LMAC)
- IAIABC v.1 EDI Reporting Standards (business plan with ERD)
- Revised Medical Service Reimbursement Methodology (stakeholder participant)
- Occupational Utilization and Treatment Guidelines (stakeholder participant)
- Claims Examiner Licensing and Continuing Education (created original statutory scheme, provide CE classes regularly)
- Montana Self-Insurance Association (Associate Member, Board member, Sec/Treasurer)
- Montana State Fund (Board member of $1.7B insurance organization)
What makes us different than other workers' compensation TPAs in Montana.
- Full multi-state claims management experience with single state focus
We only do claims in Montana. Only in Montana. We are deeply involved in the process and the entire workers' compensation eco-system in Montana. National nor regional TPAs can compete with our local expertise, experience and demonstrated superior results.