In the following editorial, Gary Kern of RiskSAVERS LLC addresses criticisms of the Second Injury Fund, its functionality and its assessments. Kern believes that despite its problems, we owe it to small employers and workers who have previously experienced an injury to have the Second Injury Fund in place in Louisiana.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) recently announced that the Second Injury Board (SIB) assessment rate is increasing from 5.95 percent to 6.75 percent.
The Seventh Annual Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, held February 2nd and 3rd at the Renaissance hotel in Baton Rouge featured topical sessions on state regulation, opioids, return-to-work, and a range of other issues. One standout included a point/counterpoint style debate between Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) Deputy Director Pauline Williams and LCTA Executive Vice-President Troy Prevot about Louisiana’s Second Injury Fund.
Dan Lastrapes, an insurance industry veteran who most recently worked with LEMIC as Vice President of Operations, has joined the Second Injury Fund at the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration as Director, taking over from Pauline Williams, who is transitioning to a new role as Deputy Director of the OWCA under Patrick Robinson. Louisiana Comp Blog reached out to Lastrapes to learn more about his background and what he plans to do in leading the program.
The 2015 Legislative Session was a successful one for the Louisiana Second Injury Board. In addition to the passage of Senator Peacock’s SB107, which removed the sunset provision on Second Injury Fund deductibles, thus securing the deductibles for the life of the program, the Board received a requested $10 million appropriations increase in the state budget bill, (HB1) bringing the total allocated funding to $59,290,715 – with no increases in insurer assessments.