Date: 08/31/2009

Workers' Compensation Educational Association


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

11:39 AM -- Workers' Compensation Educational Association

John Sbarbaro from the Workers' Compensation Education Association testified that they would like Pinnacol to remain as quasi-public. Pinnacol has not done enough to lower premiums and provide higher rebates to subscribers. Corrective legislation could add a premium tax and caps on premiums and surplus. Remaining quasi-public gives Pinnacol a level of transparency it wouldn't have as a private company.

Senator Mitchell asked questions about the effect of Pinnacol's affiliation with the state. Mr. Sbarbaro said that it has afforded transparency and that if Pinnacol were private we wouldn't know what their surplus was or why.

Mr. Ross and Mr. Sbarbaro had an exchange about reserves, premium taxes, rate decreases, surplus, dividends and being the insurer of last resort.

Representative Pace asked about how the legislature could place a cap on surpluses and what would it be. Mr. Sbarbaro suggested forming a committee to address it.

Dr. Parry asked about the effect on care of injured workers if Pinnacol was a private company and Mr. Sbarbaro said that care would suffer because we wouldn't have transparency.

Senator Harvey asked a number of questions about information reported to the Division of Insurance and Mr. Sbarbaro's background.

Representative Gardner commented on the attempt by the General Assembly to take $500 million from Pinnacol to balance the state budget and asked if WCEA supported this. Mr. Sbarbaro said that WCEA thinks the money belongs to the individuals who paid premiums or injured workers who were not provided adequate health care.

Mr. Simon asked Mr. Sbarbaro what he saw as the impact of making Pinnacol a true state agency but Mr. Sbarbaro hasn't considered that.