SIIA’s 38th Annual National Educational Conference & Expo

The world’s largest event focused exclusively on the self-insurance/alternative risk transfer marketplace and typically attracts more than 1,700 attendees from around the world.

When: September 23 – 25, 2018SIIA

Where: JW Marriott,  Austin, TX

What You’ll Learn at the Conference

Critical information and expertise to be shared…with nearly 40 educational breakout sessions organized in separate tracks focused on self-insured health plans, captive insurance, and self-insured workers’ comp programs. New for this year, we’ve added a “Fusion” track filled with topics of crossover interest to multiple constituencies.

Compelling general session speakers…the opening general session will feature business futurist Mike Walsh who will talk about designing companies to thrive in the 21st century. Then the following morning Guy Benson, political editor for will preview the 2018 elections and discuss related developments in our nation’s capital.

Connect with the people you need to know…whether you are looking for new clients, business partners or to make other important connections, this event offers near continuous networking opportunities given that most everyone who is anyone in the self-insurance/captive insurance industry will be there.

The latest product/service offerings on display…within a huge exhibit hall open at multiple times throughout the conference. If you are looking for a service provider solution, you are almost certain to find it in Austin.

Younger industry professionals welcome…this event marks the launch of the new SIIA Future Leaders initiative to encourage association participation by younger industry professionals. Those under 40 can take advantage of a special registration discount, an exclusive networking reception and educational sessions designed just for them.

Act soon to make sure you get the hotel room of your choice…SIIA’s block of discounted sleeping rooms at the JW Marriott Downtown Austin is certain to sell out so if you want to stay at the host hotel you will want to register at your earliest opportunity in order to reserve a sleeping room. Please note that every year we advise everyone that host hotel sleeping rooms will sell-out but yet many procrastinate and are very unhappy to learn that we are not able to reserve them a room – don’t be that person!

And to cap everything off…be sure not to miss SIIA’s famous end of conference party. One last networking opportunity featuring live music and local food at a great off-site venue near the hotel. Trust us, you don’t want to leave early. Still unsure? Just ask anyone who has attended a previous SIIA conference party – they are anything but ordinary.


Who Should Attend

Companies interested in or considering self-insurance or captive insurance, either domestically or internationally; companies currently self-insuring, captive insurance companies, and service providers doing business in the self-insurance/alternative risk transfer industry.

To learn more about SIIA’s 38th Annual National Educational Conference & Expo, please visit their website.

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4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.


That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.


Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]