February 10, 2006

Christine Baker

Commission Approves Proof of Coverage Issue Paper

OAKLAND -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) has approved an issue paper concerning proof of workers' compensation insurance coverage. The CHSWC staff paper includes specific recommendations on providing public access to workers' compensation proof of coverage information and on enforcement of illegally uninsured employers using a proof of coverage database.

"Workers' Compensation Compliance and Proof of Coverage" was developed by CHSWC staff in response to a request from Assembly Member Keith Richman. The issue paper addresses the requirement for employers to have workers' compensation coverage and ways by which the public may have access to "proof of coverage" information to determine if an employer is complying.

The paper describes the advantages of public access to workers' compensation proof of coverage for employers and workers, how improved data matching would better identify uninsured employers for compliance and enforcement purposes, and provides a comparison to other states' approaches to proof of coverage verification.

CHSWC is charged with overseeing the health and safety and workers' compensation systems in California and recommending administrative or legislative modifications to improve their operation. CHSWC was established to conduct a continuing examination of the workers' compensation system and of the state's activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases and to examine those programs in other states.

The issue paper was distributed for public comment in December 2005. The paper and information about CHSWC are available on the CHSWC web site, by contacting CHSWC by writing to 1515 Clay Street, Room 901, Oakland, 94612; by phone at (510) 622-3959: by fax at (510) 622-3265; or by email