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County Offers Workers' Comp Savings Opportunities to Local Municipalities

Published: 5/10/2013

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie, NY… As part of continuing efforts to offer shared services, deliver greater efficiencies and overall reduce the cost of government, Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro is expanding the opportunity for Dutchess County municipalities and public agencies to participate in the County’s Self-insured Worker’s Compensation Plan as a way to reduce premium costs. Yesterday afternoon, the Dutchess County Legislature’s Government Services & Administration Committee approved an amendment to Local of No. 5 of 1980 that originally created the County’s Self-Insured Worker’s Compensation Plan.  The amendment provides an operational overhaul of the Plan that recognizes the expanded functionality of the County’s Risk Management Division and adds greater efficiency to the Plan.

County Executive Molinaro said, “There is a real advantage to both the County and local municipalities to partner together for Workers’ Compensation. We have already seen municipalities in our pilot program experience impressive savings. This is one of our many efforts to work together with our municipal partners to reduce costs and improve efficiency.”

Workers’ Compensation is an insurance program that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses. County Executive Molinaro directed the County’s Division of Risk Management to expand the County’s Workers’ Compensation plan to municipalities so that both municipalities and the County could realize significant reduction in premium costs. A few Dutchess County municipalities, including the Towns of Beekman, Pawling and Unionvale, were already part of the County’s Plan and this year as part of a pilot effort to expand the Plan’s pool, the City of Beacon joined and realized a 56% premium decrease of more than 50%, a savings of more than $300,000. The Town of Amenia also joined this year and saw a premium decrease of more than 70%, a savings of $24,000.

Town of Amenia Supervisor William Flood said, “We are thrilled with our premium cost savings. Additionally, as a smaller municipality, we appreciate being able to take advantage of the Division of Risk Management’s expertise and resources to help us implement good policies and procedures relating to worker safety, since these are not resources we would have readily available in-house.”

City of Beacon Mayor Randy Casale added, “The City of Beacon has realized significant savings by partnering with the County for Workers’ Compensation. The County has put together a great program that will help to enhance our workplace safety efforts and get people back to work quicker with modified duty programs. With the fiscal challenges we are all facing, we appreciate the opportunity to work together to bring down costs and better serve our residents.”

Several more municipalities have expressed interest in joining the County’s Plan and it is expected that additional municipalities will become members in the coming year. As members of the County’s Plan, they have access to the County’s professional Risk Management Division for guidance and assistance, as well as for workplace safety programs.

Part of the effort to transform the County’s Workers’ Compensation Plan into a more efficient, low-cost, high-quality provider of workers compensation claims management and safety services included a new contract with a third party administrator. In April 2013, the County began partnering with PMA Management Corp. for the administration of the Plan. PMA is ranked among the top providers of third-party administration and risk services in the United States. PMA’s clients include several self-insured counties in New York and Pennsylvania as well as many large local employers such as Culinary Institute of America, Marist College and Vassar Brothers Hospital.

Town of Pawling Supervisor David Kelly noted the benefits of the County’s partnership with PMA Management Corp., “The new online claim reporting has streamlined the process significantly and has saved a tremendous amount of time for our staff. The County made a great choice to work with PMA.”

Local municipalities, taxing jurisdictions such as fire districts or other public agencies are eligible to participate in the County’s Workers’ Compensation Self-Insured Plan. Interested agencies should contact the Division of Risk Management at 486-2030 for more information.

The Dutchess County Legislature is expected to approve the Local Law on at their board meeting on Monday, May 13th.