Switching To Self-Pay Workers Comp Saving Claremore Thousands

Friday, May 12th 2017, 5:27 pm
By: News On 6

The City of Claremore has come up with a way to save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s being done through a self-pay workers comp, essentially meaning a company is paying for employees’ on-the-job injuries out of pocket instead of paying an insurance provider.

It can be risky, but, so far, Claremore said it's saving the city big money.

Deputy Police Chief Steve Cox has been a Claremore police officer for more than 11 years, and like many officers, he’s had his share of on-the-job injuries.

“I was actually up in an attic. We were looking for somebody and I actually fell through the ceiling and I ended up tearing up my knee. I just tore up my ACL,” he said.

Until 10 months ago, Cox had to go through the City of Claremore's Workers Comp Process to get medical treatment.

"It just took, what I would say, a couple extra months to get the treatment that I needed to get back to work," he said.

But that is not the case anymore after the City switched to self-pay workers comp.

City Manager Jim Thomas said, in just 10 months, Claremore has saved more than$300,000.

"I would rather put that money back into wages, or equipment or operations than having to pay it out for injuries," he said.

Thomas also said the new plan helps the City track injuries, which can help find ways to prevent them in the future.

"We are being much more proactive today than we have been in the past, and we're hoping that that's gonna save us money in the long run," Thomas said.

But there is some Risk involved.

"If the claim is over $500,000 we have a reinsurance policy that will cover that, but anything below that we pay dollar for dollar," said Thomas.

It’s money well spent for those who serve the community.

Cox said, “When the City is footing these bills, we don't have to wait for the approvals through an insurance carrier."

Rogers County said it’s also looking into switching to a self-pay workers comp program.