Date: 09/04/2009

Impact of Changes - Consumer Perspectives


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

11:18 AM -- Impact of Changes - Colorado Workers' Comp

Mr. Paul Tauriello, Deputy Director of the Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation, offered to answer questions regarding the state agency status that existed at the time of Pinnacol's creation. There were no questions asked of him.

11:21 AM

Mr. John Berry, Workers' Compensation Coalition (WCC), commented on the impact of possible changes to Pinnacol, representing the business community view. Mr. Berry suggested that the state could level the playing field by making Pinnacol subject to taxation. He also suggested all insurance companies should be subject to the same scrutiny as Pinnacol. Senator Carroll asked Mr. Berry to comment on the structural options. Mr. Berry said he would oppose Pinnacol being taken back as a state fund. He suggested there would be a 30 percent cost increase if there was an assigned risk pool so he opposes this. If Pinnacol is privatized, Mr. Berry thinks the state loses the oversight of the company. He believes the current system works best.

11:30 AM

Mr. Neil O'Toole, Workers' Compensation Education Association (WCEA), representing the worker community, agreed with Mr. Berry's opinion that Pinnacol should remain a quasi-government agency. Also, because of Pinnacol's transparency and their current success of building up the surplus, this can help support all businesses by keeping insurance rates down. Mr. O'Toole clarified that no state money has gone to Pinnacol since 1923. Representative Su Ryden asked about what Pinnacol had or did not have when it became Pinnacol in terms of an unfunded liability. Both Mr. O'Toole and Mr. Berry provided explanations. Mr. Ken Ross explained that CCIA had a $200 million operating loss which grew to $500 million surplus throughout the decade. During that period, CCIA had to enter into a surplus recovery plan with the Colorado Division of Insurance.

11:41 AM

Tony Gagliardi, State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) joined Mr. Berry and Mr. O'Toole to give his opinion on the impact of possible changes to Pinnacol. Mr. Gagliardi testified that he believes nothing should be done to Pinnacol at this time because the current system works. He asked that if anything is done, it be presented in a survey to NFIB members. He also suggested that both sides meet to express their viewpoints.

11:52 AM -- Recess

The committee recessed.