By Lauren Naumcheff
(Sponsored) Owning a business in a fluctuating economy is a daunting endeavor. Business owners not only face the pressure of generating enough profits to remain viable, but also fear the consequences of an employee becoming injured on the job. As health care costs continue to rise, providing adequate insurance coverage for injured workers is a growing concern.
The Alabama Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund (ASIWCF) provides a critical service to Alabama employers by offering coverage to workers and helping employers control costs associated with workplace injuries.
A series of dramatic events in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s, including the exodus of commercial workers’ compensation carriers, left many Alabama employers struggling to survive. Business owners had little protection from financial devastation due to unjustified litigation and escalating annual workers’ compensation costs. The ASIWCF was formed in 1978 to fill this voice and meet the needs of Alabama business owners across the state.
ASIWCF is one of the oldest self-insured group funds in the nation, and has been a stable source of protection despite industry changes and economic ups and downs. The group played a key role in shaping state regulations ensuring companies have a choice in workers’ compensation coverage.
Since its creation over forty years ago, the ASIWCF has placed great emphasis on sound financial management and customer service—its top two priorities. Loss control is a business’s first line of defense for cost savings. To ensure the best results, ASIWCF partners with Employer’s Claim Management Inc. to support its members’ safety efforts with on-site risk visits and targeted training programs. Its claim management services work directly with injured workers, their medical care providers and employers to implement the best possible claim resolutions and ensure positive outcomes for all.
The ASIWCF insures payrolls exceeding $6 billion, and providers coverage to over 150,0000 employees in Alabama. ASIWCF represents companies of all sizes in the manufacturing, construction, wholesale, retail and service industries. “Our diverse member base is the key to our success, reducing risk concentration and enhancing long-term stability,” said Loren Traylor, director of program development at ASIWCF.
“We have remained a strong and stable leader in a competitive and highly dynamic industry. We’ve become a leader in member education and cost control, and set the standard for innovative ways to reward members for reporting a favorable experience,” said Traylor.
Currently, there are 26 states that allow self-funding for workers’ compensation coverage. The ASIWCF offers employers choices for obtaining cost effective workers’ compensation coverage. They are the market leader in providing state-of-the-art predictive analytics that continue to drive down costs and utilization. Employers benefit from the cost savings, and workers benefit from receiving the highest quality of care through their ASIWCF coverage.
When asked about future plans, Traylor said, “We want to continue to lead the market in providing cutting-edge tools to ensure exemplary loss control management and customer service. We want to be known as an industry partner with a reputation for integrity, enabling our members to contribute to the economic vitality of Alabama.”
By state law, self-insured group funds in Alabama must be sponsored by an association. The ASIWCF is sponsored by the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), the state’s largest association of business owners. The BCA is committed to fighting for a business-friendly environment and helps to attract businesses to Alabama. “Support from the BCA has played a key role in our consistent success,” said Traylor.
Business owners across the state can rest assured knowing they are protected from unforeseen costs due to an employee’s medical care, and employees take comfort in knowing they have the best quality care available if they suffer from an accident on the job. The ASIWCF has been a trusted partner for Alabama business owners for nearly 40 years, and a proud member of the BCA.
About the Business Council of Alabama: For more than three decades, the Business Council of Alabama has been Alabama’s foremost voice for business, standing up for Alabama businesses that are the job creators and innovators driving our state’s economy. Through this Business Spotlight Series, the BCA tells the stories of these businesses that proudly call Alabama home and in the process, we hope to show why we work hard every day making a sweet home for business. For more information about the BCA, please visit their website.