Changes to Oregon rules regarding Employer/Insurer Coverage Responsibility effective as of January 1, 2017

White, David_160x222OAR 436-050 governs the responsibility of employers and insurers to provide workers’ compensation coverage to subject workers for compensable injuries and illnesses. Many changes to an employer/insurers coverage responsibility went into effect at the start of the New Year. Some of these changes were stylistic and meant to provide improved clarity through better organization and use of plain language. Other changes were more substantive and are outlined below.

  • OAR 436-050-0110/OAR 436-050-0210: Requires insurers/self-insurers to process and maintain claim records in the State of Oregon. However, insurers can receive claim reports and issue payments from outside the state so long as records are forwarded to or payments are directed from Oregon.
  • OAR 436-050-0150(3): Requires employers to maintain a financial rating of “strong” or “moderate” to keep/obtain self-insured status. The financial rating criteria is found in subsections (4) and (5) of OAR 436-050-0150.
  • OAR 436-050-0160(1)(c)(B): Permits an employer applying for self-insured status to submit certified financial statements as part of its application if audited financial statements are unavailable at the time of the application. However, an employer may still be required to submit audited financial statements if the certified statements are inadequate.
  • OAR 436-050-0180(3): Allows a self-insured employer to request a certified actuarial study to determine the amount of its security deposit.
  • OAR 436-050-0190(2): Requires a self-insured employer to notify the director of a change in operation that affects its claims liability of financial viability, g., buying additional business or filing for bankruptcy, within 30 days of the change. Otherwise the director may impose civil penalties and/or revoke the employer’s self-insured status.
  • OAR 436-050-0260(7): Employers who are part of a self-insured group to establish a safety and health loss prevention program and show accident prevention “is likely to improve” with self-insurance.

Please note this list is not exhaustive. I recommend double checking the new rules to see whether ones you are familiar with have changed.

Have a question regarding the Workers’ Compensation Divisions recent rule changes? Feel free to contact me at dwhite@sbhlegal.com.