Small, medium companies could self-insure under bill

The Seattle TimesJanuary 23, 2014 

Small and medium companies should have the same opportunities as big companies, including the option to self-insure against work-related illness and injury, said Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia,

Senate Bill 6179 would allow employers who require “substantially similar” services or activities of their employees to join with each other to form groups that would assume liability for workers compensation.

“It’s a very simple bill to allow small and medium businesses to form associations and do something we’ve done in our state for a long time,” Braun said.

Some state agencies and large private companies, such as Boeing, self-insure, which usually means setting aside a reserve of money to be used if an unexpected injury or illness occurs as opposed to paying premiums to an insurance company to cover the costs of claims.

The Senate Commerce and Labor committee on Wednesday held a hearing for the bill, which would allow small and medium companies, which typically pay a fixed amount for industrial insurance, to do the same.

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