The Minnesota Employers Workers Compensation Alliance (“The Alliance”) was originally formed in 1971 as the Minnesota Self-Insurers’ Association, to promote the interests of business and government units who are self-insured or retain a high deductible ($250,000.00 minimum) for workers compensation liability in the State of Minnesota.

The Alliance began operating under its new name on January 1, 2014, representing 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.  Membership is no longer exclusive to self-insured or high deductible employers, rather, it is now open to all Minnesota employers!

The Alliance Recent Past-President Sandra Bodensteiner of the City of St. Paul says 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. “We work to make sure everyone’s voice is heard as we try to shape a system that helps 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, the State of Minnesota and the City of St. Paul.

“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 HealthPartners, President of the Alliance. “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 an important and effective 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 holds 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 workers compensation 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.”

The Alliance meets quarterly – three of the annual meetings are held in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, and the September meeting is held in greater Minnesota. Part of the meetings are used to conduct the business of the Alliance, however, most of the meeting is used for educational and networking purposes. Each meeting includes a workers’ compensation case law and legislative update. In addition, the Alliance presents guest speakers with expertise on relevant topics such as health care, the legislature, agency regulation and innovative delivery of services.

Information regarding membership in The Alliance may be directed to the Executive Administrator, Suzanna Kennedy (612) 335-7078 e-mail suzanna.kennedy@stinson.com.