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APEI welcomes Jenny Martens as its newest board member

APEI welcomes Jenny Martens as its newest board member. Jenny is the Director of Finance & Budget for the Lower Yukon School District.

Monday, October 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (2133)/Comments (0)/
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Conducting Performance Reviews That Work

The anticipation of a performance review often brings about anxiety for both the employee and the evaluating manager. Anxiety may be justified because a poorly conducted review can result in more harm than good. Performance reviews should produce positive results.

Preparation is the key to a successful performance evaluation. Important to preparation is on-going communication with the employee.

A formal review may only take place once a year, but communication between an employee and his or her supervisor regarding job performance should be continuous. The employee should go into a performance review knowing how he or she has performed throughout the year with no surprises.

Employers and their evaluating managers should treat performance assessments as a valuable communication tool for both employees and supervisors - a stepping-stone for progress in the right direction. When the evaluation is complete, both parties should have a clear picture of where the employee has been in the past year and where he or she is going. Then, the manager must routinely follow-up with the employee to assess his or her progress, daily, weekly or monthly, until the next formal review.
Monday, October 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (1828)/Comments (0)/
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Members Doing the Right Thing

Have you ever seen your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) lying around collecting dust? OSHA says that PPE that is defective and unclean shall not be used. The City of Wasilla found a great way to store and track their PPE with a vending machine. These machines can dispense gloves, masks, hard hats, goggles, and other PPE items. Not only is it easy for your employees to access the necessary equipment, it makes tracking these items much easier.

Monday, October 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (1828)/Comments (0)/
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Workers' Compensation Experience Rating Changes

The premium a member pays for a Workers’ Compensation policy is primarily determined by considering three items:

  • The types of work done by employees (which are grouped into “classifications”)
  • An experience modification
  • The amount of payroll for employees in each classification

Classification grouping is done to reflect the fact that employees in certain jobs (such as roofers) have a greater risk of injury than employees in other positions (such as office jobs).  Members pay higher workers’ compensation rates for employees in higher risk job classes.

The experience modification (“experience mod”) is an adjustment made to reflect each member’s own past loss experience.  Members with few or no past losses generally receive a “credit” experience mod, which lowers their premiums.  Members with many or large past claims often receive a “debit” mod, which increases their premiums.  Experience mods provide APEI members with a financial incentive to work on preventing accidents and help injured employees return to work.

Experience mods “follow” an employer if that employer changes insurance companies.  This means that APEI is able to fairly calculate and apply an experience mod when writing new business, as well as for our long-term members.

Since employers generally have more control over the frequency of accidents than the cost of the injuries resulting from those accidents, the formula calculating the experience mod gives more weight to the number of claims than to the cost of those claims.  It does this by dividing each claim into two portions:  a “primary” loss amount, and an “excess” loss amount.  While all of the primary loss amounts are included in the calculation of the experience mod, only a portion of the “excess” losses are included.

For many years, the “split point” between primary and excess losses has been set at $5,000.  Thus, the first $5,000 of each claim has been considered primary, while amounts over $5,000 have been considered to be excess.   Inflation has caused the $5,000 split point to become outdated, with more claims falling into the excess category. 

In an attempt to better reflect cost increases, this split point will be increasing, first to $10,000 in 2013, and then to $15,000 and higher over the next several years.   This change is intended to be revenue neutral, so the average experience mod for all APEI members should not change.  The experience mods will change for most members, though, with members who have high-cost claims likely seeing an increase in their experience mod, and members with few or low-cost claims seeing a decrease.

These changes mean that a member’s premiums will be more sensitive to their loss history than in the past, and make it even more important to implement loss control measures to reduce the likelihood and cost of accidents.  APEI provides loss control services that can help with this.  For information on these services, contact Cole Cummins, your loss control manager, at ccummins@akpei.com.

Monday, October 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (1890)/Comments (0)/
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APEI Fall Board Meeting Report

From the Desk of the CEO, Jeff Bush

In late October, the APEI Board of Directors gathered for two days of meetings, including the annual membership meeting, the regular fall board meeting, and a full-day planning session to develop a short- and long-term strategic plan for the company.

At the annual membership meeting, APEI Chief Operating Officer Laurel Eriksen presented the APEI annual report, including audited financial statements, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.  It will come as no surprise that the company is doing extremely well.  If you are interested, a copy of the annual report is available to all APEI members upon request. 

The first order of business for the board was the appointment of APEI board members.  Jenny Martens, Director of Finance & Budget for the Lower Yukon School District, was appointed to a vacant seat on the board.  We all look forward to working with Jenny in the months and years ahead.  Karen Goodwin (Northwest Arctic Borough School District), Elizabeth Masoni (City of Unalaska), and Bob Herron (at-large) were also reappointed for new 3-year terms.

The board also took up some housekeeping issues, making minor revisions to the bylaws and cooperative participation agreement, and formally adopting changes to the company’s target equity policy.  With adoption of this new policy, APEI will retain equity in an amount consistent with that retained by similar-sized private insurance companies.

As a result of the strategic planning session, APEI staff now have a long to-do list.  Most immediate is working to get the legislature to address rising medical costs in workers’ compensation claims.  Alaska now has the highest workers’ compensation rates in the country, which are being driven by very high and ever-increasing medical fees.  The issue is now drawing the attention of Alaska’s public and private employers alike, and I am optimistic that some solution will be found during this next session.
Monday, October 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (2057)/Comments (0)/
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Ergonomics 1/2

Strains and back injuries make up a significant portion of workers' comp claims. Join this webinar to learn about ergonomics and reduce claims, which will reduce your premiums.
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APEI Welcomes Jenny Martens to Board of Directors

At the October 2012 Board of Directors’ meeting, APEI welcomed a new member to its board of directors. Jenny Martens, Director of Budget and Finance at the Lower Yukon School District, was elected to fill vacant seat with a term expiring in October 2013.
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Alaska Public Entity Insurance

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Juneau, AK 99801-8050

Phone: 907-523-9400

Toll-Free: 877-586-2734

Fax: 907-586-2008