Making Workers' Compensation Work Right for Minnesota's Union Construction Industry

- SPONSORING INSURANCE PROVIDERS


UCWCP: A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN UNIONS, CONTRACTORS AND INSURANCE PROVIDERS

Due to high insurance costs, frustration with the state-run system and lengthy litigation of workers' compensation claims, leaders of management and labor sponsoring organizations in the construction industry succeeded in having the 1995 Minnesota legislature create a law allowing them to develop a binding alternative claim administration system through collective bargaining.

A key partner in the development of the Program services were workers' compensation insurance providers: insurance carriers, self-insured funds, and third-party administrators. After two years of research and discussion, in 1997 a joint labor-management Board of Trustees began an alternative program for Minnesota: the Union Construction Workers' Compensation Program (UCWCP).

The Program provides a confidential and neutral resource about issues related to work injuries to contractors, their insurance provider and their injured employees. The Program ensures that injured union employees will receive high-quality medical care and the proper benefits available under Minnesota law -- with minimal conflict and a timely resolution of benefit disputes.

BECOMING A SPONSORING INSURANCE PROVIDER

Insurance providers request to become sponsors of the UCWCP, and must apply to the MN Department of Commerce for approval of an "Alternative Dispute Resolution Endorsement" to provide insurance or self-insurance for contractors participating in the Program.

Once approval from the MN Department of Commerce is obtained, the underwriting and claims administration staff goes through a UCWCP training to understand the components of the Program and specific claims handling requirements unique to the Program.

Insurance Providers are still required to file statutory forms and documents with the MN Department of Labor and Industry, and are subject to the Department's claim audits and penalties. Furthermore, all claims subject to the jurisdiction of the UCWCP are entitled to the same benefits as mandated in the statutory system.

Contractors must purchase insurance from current sponsoring Insurance Providers in order to be a member of the UCWCP.

For information on becoming a sponsoring insurance provider please contact the Program Administrator, Kevin Gregerson (952) 851-3462.