W.Va. Insurance Commission Preparing to Oversee Workers’ Compensation

July 14, 2005

The West Virginia Insurance Commission is preparing for Jan. 1, 2006, when it will be responsible for the state workers’ compensation system, as the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission ceases to exist and becomes the West Virginia Employers’ Mutual Insurance Co., a private company, regulated like any other insurance carrier by Insurance Commissioner Jane Cline.

Cline expects some growing pains in the next six months, but said they are worth bearing.

“This is one more step to make West Virginia’s insurance laws more consistent with the majority of other states,” Cline said.

The Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit transferred to the Insurance Commission July 1, and is expected to grow from 85 employees to more than 400 by Jan. 1.

“Accommodating those people and the information they manage will be no easy task,” Cline said.

The Insurance Commission has nine teams: fraud, information technology, rating bureau, legal services and receivables management, claims allocation, self-insurance, records management, fund accounting and administrative services.

One of the challenges facing the commission will be to establish and manage several funds such as an uninsured fund for injured workers and an adverse risk pool.

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