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The Latest on Workers’ Compensation and Business in Illinois


Recent reports reveal that workers’ compensation costs are sharply falling and the business climate continues to improve. From the evidence below, it is clear the 2011 changes to the workers’ compensation laws in Illinois are dramatically lowering worker compensation payouts to injured workers.

  • The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI – an insurance industry rate making agency which provides workers’ compensation information) has issued its workers’ compensation advisory rates for 2017. It states that Illinois employers should see a 12.9 percent cut in their workers’ compensation premiums – the third largest cut in the nation and totaling more than all of our neighboring states combined.
  • The annual report by the Workers Compensation Research Institute – which is funded by the insurance industry – confirms medical payments have fallen nearly 15 percent, to an average of $14,513 per claim, down from $17,140 per claim. Illinois’ average payments are lower than Indiana ($18,862), Wisconsin ($17,787) and Iowa ($16,051).
  • According to a 2015 report from the Illinois Department of Insurance, profits within the state’s workers’ compensation sector have steadily grown since 2010. The “long term trend indicates an overall improvement in both profits and loss ratio within the workers’ compensation market in Illinois,” the agency concluded.
  • The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s annual report reveals that between the years 2011 and 2015, Illinois insurers reported a 19 percent decrease in benefit payments to injured workers.
  • The annual report from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission cites the Oregon study, which showed Illinois led the nation in workers’ compensation insurance premium savings between the years 2012 and 2014. “And the effects of some of the 2011 legislative changes have yet to register.”
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Illinois ranked second among states where businesses are being created the fastest over the last year.
  • Illinois is ranked 9th in the nation for the best states to make a living according to the 2016 report by MoneyRates – well ahead of our neighbors Indiana (12th), Missouri (17th), Iowa (18th) and Wisconsin (25th). The rankings are based on average wages, state tax rates, cost of living, unemployment rates and incidents of workplace injuries.