Tag Archives: changes

Notification Only Changes

Guidelines for Claiming Workers Compensation  released by SIRA  in 2016, effective 30 June 2017 there will be important changes to Notifications. With NSW insurers now required to contact the injured worker and employer, clarity will be critical.

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icare Medical Panel Trial

icare recently announced the launch a pilot program trialling the use of an independent panel of medical providers. This initiative is hoped to provide various benefits including decreasing time currently taken to  approve injured worker treatments.

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icare Announce 2018 NSW AGENTS

Earlier this afternoon, icare announced the 2018 NSW workers compensation agents. Following CGU announcing their exit from NSW workers compensation, further important changes were announced today by icare. Per our previous articles it was widely expected the current 5 agents (Allianz, CGU, EML, GIO & QBE) would be reduced to 3 for 2018 onward.

Given the timing of today’s announcement, it is our current understanding that from 2018 onward, the following will occur:

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icare update – NSW Transaition

From 1st March 2017 all new NSW workers compensation policies are required to be lodged directly to icare via their online portal. Businesses retain an option to select which insurer will manage their claims. Renewing policies from 30 April will transition.

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Significant NSW icare Changes

Let's talk Changeicare’s latest announcement regarding the ongoing NSW workers compensation reforms hit the market earlier today. icare’s latest changes take effect in 2017 and will impact how businesses, and brokers, approach workers compensation in NSW. icare is “moving closer to our customers, putting their needs at the centre of everything we do”. The latest changes will transform workers compensation insurance in NSW by controlling how businesses (customers) buy and renew their policies via a new online portal.

We have already heard significant speculation regarding what these changes mean and how the industry will evolve as result. So what do these changes mean and therefore what can our clients and brokers expect?

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Return To Work Changes

RTW ChangesNew benefits to assist the return to work of NSW injured workers took affect on the 29th of April 2016. These changes include workplace modifications, the transition to work equipment and training programs.

In light of these changes there is increased fluidity and interaction with SIRA vocational rehabilitation programs. SIRA currently has 6 vocational education programs that are administered under Section 53 of the Act of 1988.

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Recent NSW Change Summary

NSW Change SummaryThe last 12 months has seen continued change across NSW Workers Compensation which remains consistent with the prior 2-3 years. These recent NSW workers compensation structural changes were designed to result in a faster, simpler, and more engaging experience for workers, employers and other stakeholders.

In September 2015, the structural separation of insurance functions was recommended in various reports and inquiries into WorkCover to address the inbuilt conflict between the insurance regulatory and insurance service delivery functions. Importantly, addressing concerns of various stakeholders as well.

Benefit reforms for injured workers were made law in August 2015. The benefit reforms focus on three objectives: helping injured workers with the highest needs, assisting those with injuries to return to work, and applying benefits equitably for all injured workers.

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icare Reform Update

iCare Update

On the 4th of December 2015, icare (previously known as WorkCover NSW) announced further changes as a component of the NSW government ongoing NSW workers compensation reforms.

The latest reforms include benefit changes to injured employees in need of the highest benefits being those with a Whole Person Impairment (WPI) of >30%. In addition to this there were several other  as well as additional changes.

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NSW Employer Reforms

Employer ReformsThe Minister of Finance, Dominic  Perrottet, & the NSW Government have been driving reform to make it easier and cheaper to do business in NSW. Reforms have been diverse with workers compensation a beneficiary. As previously covered, workers compensation reforms are designed to reward the good and penalise the poor performers. Despite suggestions most businesses would pay lower premiums, the insurers have advised us that approximately 75% of medium to large NSW business will see increased 2015/16 Renewal premiums.

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NSW Workers Compensation Changes

NSW WorkCover Med-Large ChangesIn January we communicated Upcoming NSW Workers Compensation Changes and how these were likely to impact medium to large NSW businesses. On 18th May 2015, Vivek Bhatia (CEO of WorkCover NSW) confirmed these changes and ABILITY GROUP believe they represent the most dramatic changes in 20+ years. So what are the changes?

From 30 June 2015 onwards, the premium calculation for businesses with a NSW premium > $30,000 (i.e. medium and large businesses) change completely. In short the new premium formula is intended to reward businesses with fewer claims and a strong return to work performance. Businesses however that struggle with claims are expected to be penalised. The sweeping changes also impact what is included in premium claims costs, the view of industry, size, etc.

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