In national news:

The State Compensation Insurance Fund for California announced yesterday that it will discontinue its group insurance programs and will not renew group agreements in 2015. Additionally, the group insurance discount will be eliminated April 1, 2015 for all groups, including the California Farm Bureau Federation. California’s State Fund was created in 1914 by the state legislature and is the state’s largest provider of workers’ comp insurance. According to the company’s statement, the policy change is the result of an earlier private analysis that indicated that California’s “tiered rating” structure (implemented March 2013) eliminated the need for group insurance programs which were touted as ways to provide competitive rates and increase awareness of the relationship between safety and lower premiums.

State Fund explained in the release, “Throughout 2014, State Fund performed an in-depth evaluation to understand how the group insurance discount was working with tiered rating. Originally, State Fund introduced the group insurance discount to recognize and reward employers whose loss history demonstrated a culture of safety. Trade associations who had agreements with State Fund received an administrative fee, which averaged approximately four percent to six percent of premium. The study concluded that the tiered rating plan has the same effect on policyholders as the group discount, reflecting individual performance and recognizing employers with demonstrated safety records with appropriate pricing.

Read the release here. Read full coverage from WorkCompCentral (paid content) here.

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