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What do we mean when we talk about “freeze”?

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What do we mean when we talk about “freeze”?

Earlier this month, we completed “freeze week” here at Retail Services.

If you’re wondering what it means, it’s the final week before Labor and Industries (L&I) takes its snapshot of both of our RETRO groups’ performances.

With more than 100 years of workers’ compensation experience, it goes without saying, that our team works hard year-round to keep claim costs down. The team’s biggest push is in the final months before our freeze date, which was on April 2nd this year. This means we push hard to resolve any open claims and calculate your actual claim costs so that those high-cost case reserves do not stay attached to your claims.

With L&I’s implementation of early case reserve since April 2019, L&I started adding case reserve on all claims, including medical claims. Before this, only indemnity (time loss & PPD) claims were being case reserved. This new early case reserve system meant that all claims would require our claims team’s extra attention to the case reserves!

How do we close a claim? It is important to know that two issues need to occur before a claim can close:

  • It must be at maximum medical improvement (MMI) and the medical treatment must be completed.
  • The employee needs to be found able to work.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, medical treatment was often delayed. Getting employees back to work has been a challenge. It took time for L&I to get telemedicine procedures in place so treatment could occur. Employers are a big part of helping to close claims down. We appreciate your efforts.

Lastly, members should be aware of the June 1st, 2021 snapshot for your annual rates. Be confident that the RS team is still working hard to keep closing those high-cost claims for you.

Thank you to our loyal members. The relationship we have with you is the reason we work so hard.

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