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Workers Compensation

Shared oversight

Alaska laws require that most employers provide workers’ compensation benefits for their employees in case of injury or death on the job. These benefits include payment of medical expenses (nurses’ and doctors’ fees, hospital charges, medicine, transportation to nearest medical facilities, burial expenses, and death benefits), rehabilitation expenses, and compensation for lost wages. The weekly rate for compensation for lost wages due to disability or death is determined by the state legislature and written in statute. This section of the law is administered by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (WCD) in the Department of Labor. Questions related to benefit amounts, payments, or other claims-related issues, or whether an employer needs to provide workers' compensation coverage, should be addressed to the WCD.

Employers may comply with the law to provide workers’ compensation benefits either by purchasing workers’ compensation insurance from an insurance company authorized to provide this coverage in Alaska or by furnishing the WCD with proof of the employer’s ability to pay the required benefits directly to the injured worker. The Division of Insurance (DOI) regulates the insurance companies. Questions regarding the costs of an insurance policy or actions by an insurance company should be addressed to the DOI.

  • Insurers Offering Workers' Compensation Insurance in Alaska from 2019 Annual Report
    (There may be additional insurers currently offering policies, an agent or broker may assist you in determining your insurance needs)
  • See also the Consumer Tools page to research particular companies or agents.

Voluntary vs Assigned risk markets and NCCI

Voluntary vs Assigned Risk

When an insurer chooses to offer insurance to an employer, the policy is considered to be "voluntary", and these policies collectively make up the "voluntary market". For policies issued in the voluntary market, insurers generally use the classifications, loss costs, and rating plans developed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. (NCCI) and approved by the DOI, however, companies may file exceptions, which are subject to the review and approval of the DOI. The "loss cost" is the portion of the rate attributable to the expected cost of providing the benefits, such as medical expenses and loss wages. For voluntary policies, each insurer adds its own company expense provision to NCCI's loss costs to account for the costs associated with paying the operating costs of the insurer. Accordingly, the premium charged for a particular employer may vary among insurers.

Insurers have the right to decline offering insurance to a particular employer based on the perceived riskiness of the employer's operations. Even in a market with many insurers with different risk appetites, this can lead to certain employers being unable to find an insurer willing to provide insurance. In this situation, the insurance can be obtained through the workers' compensation Assigned Risk Plan ("A/R Plan"), also known as the "residual market" or "high risk pool". Your agent or broker can help you apply for insurance through the A/R Plan.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc.

The NCCI is a licensed rating organization for workers' compensation in Alaska. In this capacity, NCCI develops and maintains the systems used by insurers to classify employers and calculate premiums. The DOI has regulatory oversight of these activities.

All policies written through the A/R Plan uses the classifications, rates, and rating plans developed by NCCI and approved by the DOI without exception.

More information about NCCI can be found at ncci.com. Their Learning Center contains free videos discussing, in different levels of detail: fundamentals of workers' compensation; NCCI's ratemaking, classification system, and experience rating; and many other topics.

Installment Payments

Alaska Statutes require insurers to offer installment payment plans if the annual policy premium exceeds $2,000. These installment payment plans are implemented at the request of the insured. Ask your producer or insurer about the options available from your insurance company.

Dispute resolution

An employer (policyholder) has the right to appeal any classification assignment and premium assigned by their insurer. Appeals proceed according to the following steps:

  • Step 1: The policyholder—working with their agent or broker, if applicable—attempts to resolve the dispute with the policyholder's insurance company.
  • Step 2: If the insurer is unable to resolve the concerns to the agreement of the policyholder, the policyholder may contact NCCI for assistance. Questions about NCCI's Dispute Resolution Process or requests for disputes to be reviewed through the Process should be directed to:
        • NCCI
          Dispute Resolution Services
          901 Peninsula Corporate Circle
          Boca Raton, FL 33487-1362
          Email: regulatoryoperations@ncci.com
          Fax: 561-893-5043
    A dispute resolution request sent to NCCI must also be sent simultaneously to all other parties to the dispute.
  • Step 3: If NCCI is not able to resolve the concerns to the agreement of the policyholder then the dispute may be filed for hearing before the Alaska Grievance Committee of NCCI.
  • Step 4: If the concerns remain in dispute after decision from the Grievance Committee, then the employer may appeal to the Director of Insurance for a hearing. After the hearing, an order will be prepared for the director to adopt or refuse.
  • Step 5: If this still does not satisfactorily resolve the dispute, the appeal may be pursued through the courts.

Additional information regarding NCCI's dispute resolution procedures can be found at: https://www.ncci.com/Articles/Pages/UW_disputeresolutionprocess.aspx. As NCCI provides services in many jurisdictions across the country, the above link is general and may not reflect all the details as they apply in Alaska. For a complete copy of the Alaska-specific rules, please contact NCCI. NCCI will provide you with printable access to the pertinent manual information free of charge. 800-NCCI-123 or customer_service@ncci.com.

Alaska Review & Advisory Committee (ARAC)

By regulation, there is established a committee whose function it is to "assist and advise the [DOI] director regarding workers' compensation matters". See 3 AAC 30.200. This committee is referred to as the "Alaska Workers' Compensation Review & Advisory Committee", or ARAC. Meetings are held at least quarterly and are open to the public. Any interested party may suggest agenda items. Notices with meeting details, including how to suggest agenda items and request copies of agendas and meeting materials, are posted periodically to the Notices section of the DOI website and the State's Online Public Notices.

Public Rate Hearings

The DOI hosts annual public hearings with NCCI to review proposed rates for the upcoming year, typically held the first half of September. Notices for these public hearings, including instructions on requesting access to the associated public documents, are available via the Notices section of the DOI website and the State's Notices section of the DOI website and the State's Online Public Notices.

Obtaining information