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5/30/2017
Executive Director (E2E) Peer Networking Session (Wilmington)

5/31/2017
Executive Director (E2E) Peer Networking Session (Dover)

6/1/2017
Executive Director (E2E) Peer Networking Session (Georgetown)

6/7/2017
Telling the Story of your Impact: Outcomes Reporting (Georgetown)

6/8/2017
Delaware Nonprofit Advocacy Day

 

 

DANA's Public Policy Blog
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DANA will be updating you on important public policy matters as they happen. We will also post about the activities of the Governor, Delaware's General Assembly, local issues, hearings & meetings, and legislation that relates to DANA's Public Policy Agenda.

 

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Top tags: nonprofits  budget  Joint Finance Committee  General Assembly  Delaware  Grant-in-Aid  Governor  DEFAC  Workers Compensation  Insurance  Delaware Nonprofit Day  government  charitable solicitation  National Council of Nonprofits  Public Policy  revenue  Attorney General  Legislative Hall  Lt. Governor  Task force  Board Member  Calendar  charities  Healthcare  Nonprofit  Office of Management and Budget  taxes  Wilmington  Advocacy  Affordable Care Act 

Workers' Compensation Rates for 2016

Posted By John Baker, Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hi All,

DANA has continued to represent our members on the issue of Workers’ Compensation Insurance as one of our Public Policy initiatives. My earlier blog alerted you to the hearings on November 4th and 5th and we were there as well to submit a statement. As you can see below, the rate approved was less that half of what was requested, but we continue to work with the Insurance Commissioner and we agree with the position of the members of the “Workers Compensation Oversight Panel,” chaired by Delaware State Chamber of Commerce’s President Richard Heffron, that "rates should be in the range proposed by the Panel's independent actuary, which recommended a 2-3% increase.”


Insurance Department Announces Workers' Compensation Rates for 2016

DOVER, DE (November 17, 2015) - Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart today approved the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB)'s workers' compensation amended rate filing, resulting in an overall average increase of 7.09% in residual market rates and 7.20% in voluntary market loss costs.

The DCRB originally proposed overall increases of 14.92% for the residual market plan and 15.03% for the voluntary market loss costs. The Commissioner's independent actuaries and the state's Ratepayer Advocate each examined DCRB's filing and recommended increases lower than the ones requested by DCRB. Following extensive discussions, the three parties proposed the amended rates which the Commissioner approved today.


As always, if you’d like to talk about this with me please give me a call at 302.777.5500 or email me at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org

-John

Tags:  Delaware  nonprofits  Workers Compensation 

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Workers Compensation Insurance Public Meetings

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hi All –

Since 2012, and as one of our continued Public Policy Agenda items again in 2015, DANA has been working to limit growth in Workers Compensation Insurance (WCI) rates. We attended the weekly meetings of the Governor’s Task Force on Workers Comp. Insurance, which was chaired by Lt. Governor Denn, as a representative of the nonprofit sector in Delaware.

In addition to the Governor's Task Force, we've discussed the matter with legislators, as well as colleagues at the Chambers of Commerce. We have also given testimony at the public hearings in 2013, 2014, and will again next week.

With all that in mind, I wanted to pass along the notice below from the Insurance Commissioner.

Please always know that we at DANA are closely watching this issue on your behalf.

As always, if you’d like to talk about this with me please give me a call at 302.777.5500 or email me at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org

-John

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

DELAWARE COMPENSATION RATING BUREAU FILING 1502

 

INSURANCE  COMMISSIONER  KAREN  WELDIN  STEWART,  CIR-ML, hereby gives notice that a PUBLIC HEARING will be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 and Thursday, November 5, 2015 beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the auditorium on the Mezzanine level of the Carvel State Office Building, 820 North French Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. Although the Hearing has been scheduled to be held over the course of two days, the first day (November 4, 2015) will be reserved for the receipt of oral comments from members of the public, and the second day (November 5, 2015) will be reserved for the introduction of evidence by the parties to the proceeding.  If all parties agree, introduction of evidence by the parties may begin on the first day.

 

The purpose of the hearing is to consider whether the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) Filing No. 1502 dated August 28, 2015, complies with applicable law and should be allowed to go into effect, or whether the filing should be disapproved. The filing requests an overall increase in involuntary market rates of approximately 14.92% and an overall increase in the voluntary market loss costs of approximately 15.03%. The filing and other related public documents are available on the State of Delaware Department of Insurancwebsitat    http://www.delawareinsurance.gov/departments/documents/dockets/.

 

The hearing will be conducted pursuant to applicable law, including without limitation 18 Del. C. §§ 2605 and 2610 and 29 Del. C. §§10121-29. The docket number assigned to this hearing is 2916-2015.  The Honorable Joshua W. Martin,

III, has been appointed to serve as the Hearing Officer.

 

A party has the right to present evidence, be represented by Delaware counsel, and appear personally or by other representative. The Delaware Department of Insurance is obligated to reach its decision based on the evidence received.

 

Comments are being solicited from any person. Comments may be in writing or may be presented orally at the Hearing. Written comments must be received no later than Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by 4:30 p.m., and should be addressed to the attention of Rhonda West, Regulatory Specialist, Delaware Department of Insurance, 841 Silver Lake Boulevard, Dover, DE 19904. Also, those intending to provide oral comments at the hearing must notify Rhonda West at (302) 674-7379 or DOI_WorkersComp@state.de.us, no later than 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Octobe28, 2015.

Tags:  Delaware  Governor  Lt. Governor  nonprofits  Public Policy  Workers Compensation 

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End-of-Session Updates

Posted By John Baker, Friday, June 27, 2014

Hi All –

Here are some "end-of-session” updates for you.

Grant-In-Aid - As we move into the wrap-up of the 147th Delaware General Assembly session, Monday, June 30 – July 1, we saw the Grant-In-Aid (GIA) bill come out of the Joint Finance Committee with level funding as compared to last year's. Some applicants went up nominally, some went down, and still others were eliminated. Considering the State’s budget struggles and the cuts they made elsewhere, level funding was pretty good for GIA. The bill will be available at the following link next week if you want to check before you receive your notification from the Controller’s office: http://legis.delaware.gov/ 
In the left column at the bottom, enter "GA147" for the session, then in the last box enter "Grant-In-Aid" and click "Go” to search.

We have also been updating you on the "Grant-In-Aid Reform Initiative” that the JFC Co-Chairs initiated in earnest this past Fall. We have been at the table on this reform, along with the United Way, Delaware Community Foundation, and various other key Delaware foundations. The process has been talked about for a very long time, but it has taken hold this year under the current leadership. The reform will occur over several years, but here are the first steps that were announced yesterday for the upcoming November applications:

1.) The application forms will look a bit different. You will be able to fill in the forms as "Fillable PDFs” and they plan to move to an online application process in the next couple of years once they have the computer / IT capabilities;

2.) You will be required to list all funding sources for your organizations including Pass-Throughs, Block Grants, and all other sources;

3.) Listing of all disbursements, including Salary and Benefits, as a percent of Revenue;

4.) List of grants and Pass-Throughs from 2014 and projections for 2016;

5.) Board of Directors contact information;

6.) More detailed programmatic section with detailed description of populations served;

6.) Description of what led to your deficit or surplus, and what your plans are for managing the financial position you're in;

7.) ED/CEO and Board Chair signatures required on the application;

8.) Audited Financial Statements within the past three years will be required. You will have time to put this expense in your budget, meanwhile, you will be able to provide a statement as to why you can’t provide audited financial statements.

Because of these changes, it will be important for you to attend the regularly scheduled "Grant-In-Aid Orientation” sessions in October. Check the site. The dates will be listed in the application packages that you typically receive.

The Joint Finance Committee will meet again in September to continue their "Grant-In-Aid Reform” discussions. They will determine what aspect of funding they will address next, but they believe that it may be the $8 Million in "Pass-Throughs”.

Workers Compensation Insurance Reform & HB 373 - The General Assembly also passed, and the Governor signed, HB 373 for Workers Compensation Insurance Reform. This bill continues the work of the Governor’s Task Force. This bill is on the heels of last year's actions that the Task Force thought would solve the steady annual requests for 40% increases, that have settled at near 20% increases the previous two years. The task force identified significant medical cost reimbursements as the main driver to Workers Comp. rate increase requests. This bill caps reimbursement of treatment expenses based on Medicare reimbursement rates beginning in 2017.

So in the meantime, if we can connect you with services like the Red Cross that can help you make your workplaces safer, let us know. Your Workers Compensation Insurance rates are based on your "Experience” so if you have one injury in a small organization it can significantly impact your rates. Talk to your insurance provider, too, and ensure that they’re helping you get every advantage possible.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Tags:  General Assembly  Governor  Grant-in-Aid  Insurance  Joint Finance Committee  task force  Workers Compensation 

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Delaware Workers’ Compensation Insurance Progress

Posted By John Baker, Friday, June 6, 2014

Over the past four years, workers’ compensation insurance premiums have grown by 40 percent. The majority of this premium increase results from medical costs. Nonprofits, that are businesses, small businesses and the overall economy are harmed by these increases. Because of these increases, Delaware’s workers’ compensation medical costs are among the highest in the country. The Workers’ Compensation Task Force, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and consisting of representatives of all interested parties, was charged with finding a solution to the soaring premiums.

The Task Force’s suggestion was to tie workers compensation medical procedure payment rates to Medicare. This would result in somewhat lower reimbursement rates made to health care providers for treating workers’ compensation patients. Over the next few years, these actions will target lowering workers’ compensation costs by 33 percent. The reimbursement rate will be set at 200 percent over Medicare—with the exception that surgeons and radiologists will be paid at a slightly higher rate as a result of higher costs and more complex treatments in their particular fields.

The proposal has near unanimous support across party lines, including key support by Governor Jack Markell. This past Wednesday this House Bill 373 was voted out of the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce Committee and is on its way to the House Agenda. The recommendation will likely be approved by the General Assembly before the end of session on June 30th. Know that we are watching this important matter for you.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Tags:  Insurance  Lt. Governor  Task force  Workers Compensation 

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Workers Comp Rate Request Decision

Posted By John Baker, Friday, February 28, 2014

Hi All-

I case you haven’t heard, I wanted to let you know that the Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart has announced an increase in Workers’ Compensation rates of 11.4% in residual market rates and 14% in voluntary markets. The effective date of the increase is retroactive to December 1, 2013 for new and renewal business.

While this is certainly less than the 40% increase requested by the Workers’ Compensation Rating Bureau, DANA still believes that more must be done to reform the system. This is the second rate hike in as many years. We, as nonprofits, cannot pass these added costs to our “customers” as other businesses can. Instead, it comes out of the services that we are providing. Less services in a time of such great need is not what Delaware needs.

We will continue to work with the Delaware Insurance Commissioner, the Lt. Governor, and the Governor to initiate real system-wide reform to ensure proper operation of the system as required by the statute with a goal of keeping future increases as small as possible, as well as safety improvement programs implemented by nonprofits to keep costs down.

If you’d like to read the full article from the State of Delaware, click here.

If you’d like more information about the Delaware Department of Insurance, click here.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any comments or questions at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org or 302.777.5500.

-John

Tags:  Governor  Insurance  Lt. Governor  nonprofits  Workers Compensation 

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Workers Comp in the News

Posted By John Baker, Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hi all –

Since 2012, and as one of our continued Public Policy Agenda items again in 2014, DANA has been working to limit growth in Workers Compensation Insurance (WCI) rates. We attended the weekly meetings of the Governor’s Task Force on Workers Comp. Insurance, which was chaired by Lt. Governor Denn, as a representative of the nonprofit sector in Delaware.

In addition to the Governor's Task Force, we've discussed the matter with legislators as well as colleagues at the Chambers of Commerce. Chris has also given testimony at the public hearings in 2013 and 2014.

With all that in mind, I wanted to pass along an article from the Monday, February 17 issue of The News Journal that expresses Lt. Governor Denn’s outrage over the proposed 2014 WCI rate increases. In it, Denn is calling for the General Assembly to step in to help fix the system.

Click here to read: "Denn takes swing at workers' compensation insurance bureau"

Please always know that we at DANA are closely watching this issue on your behalf.

As always, if you’d like to talk about this with me please give me a call at 302.777.5500 or email me at jbaker@delawarenonprofit.org

-John

Tags:  General Assembly  Insurance  Lt. Governor  Matt Denn  Public Policy  Workers Compensation 

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Workers Comp Public Meeting

Posted By John Baker, Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hi All, 

DANA was present last evening representing the nonprofit sector at the Wilmington Public Meeting on Workers Compensation Insurance, hosted by the Delaware Department of Insurance. The program began with the Department’s Gene Reed giving opening remarks and introducing the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau’s (DCRB) Tim Wisecarver who described the DCRB’s Filing No. 1305 requesting an average 40% increase in the Workers Compensation rates for 2014. This was followed by comments from the "Rate Payers Advocate” and their actuary (position created by the Governor’s Task Force and legislation this past June). This Advocate and their Actuary recommends an average 20% increase. This was followed by a presentation by the Delaware Department of Insurance’s Actuary who recommended an average increase of 20% as well. 

The program concluded with the Delaware Department of Insurance’s Gene Reed announcing that a Public Administrative Hearing will be announced on the Department’s website and will be presided over by the Hon. Judge Martin. The Judge will make a recommendation to the Insurance Commissioner, Karen Weldin Stewart, who will render a final decision on any rate adjustment. 

There will be an opportunity for the public to make statements at the Public Administrative Hearing and DANA will be there. 

Meanwhile, the Governor’s Task Force on Workers Compensation Insurance continues to meet to develop a course forward that is fiscally responsible and continues to support Delaware’s economic recovery.  

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me.

-John

Tags:  Governor  Insurance  public meeting  Public Policy  Task force  Wilmington  Workers Compensation 

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Keeping Costs Down for Delaware Employers, Including Nonprofits that Employ 60,000 in Delaware

Posted By John Baker, Monday, June 24, 2013

House Bill 175, sponsored by Rep. Byron Short and Senator Patricia Blevins, both on the Governor’s Task Force on Workers Compensation Insurance, was passed through both houses of the Delaware General Assembly without a single dissent and is ready for the Governor to sign.

HB 175 was crafted from the work of the Task force that the Governor established in January, chaired by former Insurance Commissioner, Lt. Governor Matt Denn. The task force concluded its work in May and presented their proposed recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly.

Lt. Governor Matt Denn provided solid leadership for this task force and the members were diligent in their work, with committee meetings beginning February 8th and taking place every Friday until May 10th. DANA represented the nonprofit sector at each meeting.

The Task Force and resulting bill were in response to workers’ compensation insurance increases of 31 percent over the past two years. This after four years of decreases when Senate Bill 1 was passed in 2007 to fix the system.

HB 175 will make the following changes to the Delaware’s workers’ compensation system:

  • A two-year freeze on all inflation increases for medical providers, with limits on increases after the two-year freeze
  • Increase number of medical procedures in the current fee schedule
  • Inclusion of all radiology and pathology/laboratory reimbursements in the current fee schedule
  • Inclusion of ambulatory center reimbursements in the fee schedule
  • New pharmaceuticals price controls
  • Cap drug testing costs and frequency
  • Reduce the number of physical therapy sessions allowed, and a review of the treatment protocols
  • Cap anesthesia reimbursements
  • An independent "Advocate Attorney” will be hired by the Department of Insurance, in place of the typical second Actuary, to advocate on behalf of ratepayers in the rate setting process
  • The Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) will be required to provide data to the Workers Compensation Data Collection Committee regularly for analysis
  • Streamline the process for employers to inform treating doctors of available light duty for inured workers
  • The workplace safety credit will be available to employers that demonstrate that their insurance providers safety exam is at least as rigorous as that of the Department of Labor

The committee will continue to work on controlling costs and reforming the process to make it one of the best in the country. DANA will continue to work with the group and with the nonprofit sector to introduce programs for improved workplace safety, and to introduce new Workers Compensation Insurance options.

You can view the report by clicking HERE, and the bill by clicking HERE.

-John

Tags:  General Assembly  Governor  Insurance  Workers Compensation 

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Workers Compensation Insurance Task Force

Posted By John Baker, Monday, May 13, 2013

Hi All,

The Governor’s Task Force on Workers Compensation Insurance concluded it’s work last Friday and presented their proposals at the Delaware State Chamber offices this Monday morning, May 13, at 10:00 am. The recommendations were presented to the Governor and General Assembly, as well.

Lt. Governor Matt Denn provided solid leadership for this task force and the members were diligent in their work, with committee meetings beginning February 8th, and taking place every Friday. Their work concluded this past Friday with the report recommending and finding:

  • That the committee should meet quarterly; an increase in frequency from annually 
  • That data was not being provided to the Healthcare Advisory Panel and Date Collection Committee in a timely manner as required by the 2007 legislation, and it will now be provided to the panel as required and more frequently
  • That Healthcare Costs were driving the increases in Workers Compensation Insurance, and not just claims, and recommendations were made to control cost and the committee will continue to watch these costs closely
  • That an "Advocate Attorney” should be hired by the Department of Insurance, in place of the typical second Actuary, to advocate on behalf of Employers when rate changes are proposed

The Task Force will continue to work on controlling costs and reforming the process to make it one of the best in the country. DANA will continue to work with the task force and with the nonprofit sector to introduce programs for improved workplace safety, and to introduce new Workers Compensation Insurance options. You can view the report by clicking HERE.

See you at Nonprofit Day on Wednesday, May 15th in Dover. Click here for details.

-John

Tags:  Delaware Nonprofit Day  General Assembly  Governor  Healthcare  Insurance  State Chamber  task force  Workers Compensation 

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