Workers compensation organization changes name, expands membership
The Minnesota Self-Insurers’ Association (MSIA), a broad-based coalition of manufacturers, retailers, governmental units and health care providers, has changed its organization’s name as it enters its 43rd year of championing employers’ workers compensation issues in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Employers Workers Compensation Alliance began operating under its new name on Jan. 1. The group reported the new name represents its evolution into an organization devoted to the efficient management of the workers compensation system in a way that maximizes available resources for injured workers and minimizes overall system costs.
The organization was formerly known as the Minnesota Self-Insurers’ Association, but Alliance President Sandra Bodensteiner of St. Paul said the new name better represents the organization’s growth and increased influence on workers compensation issues.
“The alliance is committed to balancing all of the important employer interests in Minnesota’s workers comp system,” Bodensteiner said in a news release. “We work to make sure everyone’s voice is heard as we try to shape a system that helps keep Minnesota businesses stay competitive while ensuring that injured workers receive the assistance they need.”
Members of the Alliance include such diverse Minnesota organizations as Target, Toro, the Mayo Foundation, Cargill, Health Partners, Regis, CHS, the State of Minnesota and the city of St. Paul.
Founded in 1971, the organization was designed to help employers who “self-insured” their workers compensation liability plan. Coinciding with the name change, the Alliance has changed its membership criteria, and membership is now open to any employer with an interest in Minnesota’s workers compensation system, regardless of whether they self-insure.
“The new name better reflects our growing membership and the wide variety of perspectives those members bring to the discussion of work comp issues,” said Jim Oukrop of Health Partners, Alliance vice president. “By involving the viewpoints of all employers impacted by the work comp system, we’re able to build a consensus for change and present those diverse voices in a unified way to the Legislature and state agencies.”
The Alliance has been a voice on workers compensation issues at the Minnesota Legislature, where it is represented by the law firm of Stinson Leonard Street. In addition to its government affairs activities, the Alliance hosts quarterly meetings to educate members on such things as health care, work comp case law, agency regulations and innovations in the delivery of work comp injury rehabilitation and treatment. Alliance members also serve on a variety of boards and committees dealing with workers compensation issues at both the state and national level.
“This is an exciting time for the Alliance, both because of our new name and because of the opportunities we have to shape a work comp system that is a win-win for everyone involved,” Bodensteiner said. “We’re focused on being a very inclusive organization that values input from all employers on work comp issues.”
For more information about the Alliance, visit www.mewca.com.