The March “Comp in Focus” luncheon hosted by Louisiana Comp Blog yesterday afternoon at Ralph’s on the Park in New Orleans was another thoughtful assessment of a systemic workers’ comp issue. This time, a variety of stakeholders from around the industry discussed the place of the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation (LWCC) in the current market.
Clark Cossé, who spent much of his career as a lobbyist for the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), and the Louisiana Hospital Association (LHA) before retiring and continuing to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC), was the speaker for the event.
In addition to colorful tales of Louisiana politics and politicians from his time in Baton Rouge, Cossé painted a portrait of a broken comp system in the 1980s prior to the formation of LWCC – when the vast majority of Louisiana businesses were paying extremely high rates as part of an assigned risk pool administered by NCCI. As he was instrumental in passing the legislation that created LWCC, Cossé was able to give attendees an insider’s look at the deliberations and reasoning behind the move.
Once the floor was opened for discussion, the audience raised questions to Cossé and their fellow workers’ comp professionals about whether workers’ comp rates are currently artificially depressed in Louisiana, if LWCC’s market share is too large, and how the company can potentially garner outsize influence for itself through its claims management and operations because of both its large market share and its status as a semi-governmental entity.
By way of conclusion, Cossé defended the necessity of LWCC in the current market and offered his opinion (as a former LWCC board member) that the company actually self-limits its market share and could be considerably more competitive.
The next “Comp in Focus” luncheon will be held in May, details to be announced in the coming weeks. Read about past “Comp in Focus” events here.