WCI Briefs: 8.31.16


To save you time, here’s a sampling of workers' compensation and insurance news, each in 350 words or less.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has appointed Peter L. Hartt, director of New Jersey's insurance division, to a two-year term as the state insurance commissioner representative on the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). In this role, Hartt will represent the interests of the nation's state insurance regulators on the council. naic

Elso J. Macias, owner of Puertos Enterprises Inc. in Miami, has been arrested and charged with allegedly orchestrating a fraud scheme by providing false and misleading information during his application for workers’ compensation insurance and by grossly underreporting the company’s total payroll amount. As a result, Macias illegally avoided more than $400,000 in workers’ compensation insurance premiums, leaving his employees at risk of covering health and lost wage costs associated with on-the-job injuries. myfloridacfo

Property & casualty insurers in North America saw their operating income decline by double digits in the first half of 2016, as investment income plunged and catastrophe losses rose. Fitch Ratings looked at 44 insurers and reinsurers that are either publicly traded or report GAAP consolidated results, determining that their aggregate operating earnings dropped by 10.8 percent over the period, landing at $21.6 billion. insurance journal

Genex Services has announced its acquisition of Med-Eval, a provider of independent medical examination and diagnostic network services for the workers’ compensation and automotive claims market. Financial terms were not disclosed. genex

MSHA reports that since October 2015, eight fatalities and more than 1,100 nonfatal accidents have occurred in the nation’s coal mines, resulting in restricted duty, missed days at work, and permanent disabilities for the miners who worked there. While injury rates have been fairly consistent during this time period, records indicate a trend in accidents resulting in more serious injuries. The circumstances in at least 30 of the accidents might have led to fatalities. msha

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Special Investigations Department, identified $56.6 million in savings for the State Insurance Fund over the past year due to workers’ compensation fraud committed by claimants, employers and medical providers. Recovered funds will go back to the State Insurance Fund to care for workers injured in Ohio. ohio bwc

In California, an agreement is out for ratification by the union membership that contains a 14 percent pay bump. The agreement also reportedly would create a new classification of state employee, the Worker’s Compensation Judge II, which would have a 5 percent higher salary than a WCJ I. sacbee

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has scheduled a meeting of the Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health on Sept. 8, 2016, in Washington, D.C. osha

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