In a letter to members late last year, the Louisiana Association of Self-Insured Employers (LASIE) quietly announced that it will expand its mission and goals beyond self-insured workers’ comp to represent the “voice of the self-insurance industry” in all lines of self-insurance, most notably health.
LASIE Executive Director Gary Patureau explained in the letter: “Originally formed in 1991 to promote and protect the right of businesses to self-insure, LASIE’s services and mission have expanded over the years based upon the ever changing insurance and regulatory landscapes and needs of our members…LASIE will become the legislative and regulatory watchdog to protect against laws that would adversely affect all lines of self-insurance, including health, auto, and general liability/Property & Casualty. We would expand our educational services and also our legal and legislative presence at the state level, without decreasing our focus on workers’ compensation.”
This move is a departure for the organization, but an expansion is similar to LASIE’s Mississippi counterpart.
Dan Gibson, Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Self-Insurers (MASI) expressed congenial interest and encouragement in light of the news. “We are very excited that our sister organization, LASIE, has decided to diversify into Self-Insured Health,” Gibson said. “We made the decision to do this several years ago, and we are very glad that we did. It seems that many of our members are getting more value from their association with MASI as a result. We especially have reached out to our employer-members on issues pertaining to the Affordable Care Act, and we believe that this has proven to be very helpful to them.”
Patureau sees the expansion as coming full circle: “We’re really now just fulfilling what the founding members of the organization had envisioned, to be the voice of the self-insurance industry as a whole.” Patureau also explained that new educational seminars will allow a broader range of options for each member, and that for self-insured health in particular, the organization plans to host an individualized separate conference in 2016.
Elizabeth Lowry, newly elected LASIE Board member and Area Manager of CorVel Corporation, offered reassurance that LASIE’s expansion does not mean a reduction of its goals or values. “While I understand that expanding to other lines of coverage may cause some concern about diluting LASIE’s mission,” Lowry said, “I believe it is a good strategic move that will enable LASIE to serve all of the self-insurance needs of the organization’s members.”
Echoing Gibson’s perspective on utility, Lowry added, “Many employers are self-insured beyond workers’ compensation, so this will allow LASIE to provide broader regulatory guidance and much-needed educational opportunities. I’m glad to know LASIE is evolving to serve the ever-changing needs of the self-insurance industry.”