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287.865. Moneys not deemed state moneys - use of funds - reports to director, when - additional powers of corporation - assessments, division shall levy, amount - no dividends to be paid - bankruptcy, dissolution, or insolvency of self-insured member, procedure. -1. Moneys collected by or on behalf of the division of workers' compensation and dispersed to the corporation shall be vested in the corporation and shall not thereafter be deemed state property and shall not thereafter be subject to appropriation by the legislature, the treasurer, or any other state agency.
2. All moneys in the insolvency fund, exclusive of administrative costs reasonably necessary to conduct the business of the corporation, as determined at the discretion of the board, as described in section 287.867, shall be used solely to compensate persons entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits from a Missouri self-insurer which is unable to meet its workers' compensation benefit obligations and to defray the expenses of the fund.
3. The board of directors of the corporation shall direct the investment of the moneys in the fund, and all returns on the investments shall be retained in the fund. The corporation shall, at the request of the director of the division, annually submit to an audit by an independent certified public accountant or by such other person or persons as the director deems sufficient, and a copy of the audit report shall be transmitted to the Missouri division of workers' compensation and to the corporation.
4. The board of directors of the corporation shall, based on such information as is reasonably available, report to the director of the division upon all matters germane to the solvency, liquidation, rehabilitation or conservation of any workers' compensation self-insurer and such reports shall not be deemed public documents under the provisions of section 610.010 or any other law.
5. Upon creation of the insolvency fund pursuant to the provisions of section 287.867, the corporation is obligated for payment of compensation under this chapter to insolvent members' employees resulting from incidents and injuries to the extent of covered claims existing prior to the issuance of an order of liquidation against the member employer with a finding of insolvency which has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in the member employer's state of domicile or of this state under the provisions of sections 375.950 to 375.990 in which the order of liquidation has not been stayed or been the subject of a writ of supersedeas or other comparable order; or prior to the date of determination by the board of directors that the member employer has fully expended all surety bonds, insurance or reinsurance, and all other available assets and is not able to pay compensation benefits at that time. All incidents giving rise to claims for compensation under this chapter must occur during the year in which such insolvent member is a member of the guaranty fund and was assessable pursuant to the plan of operation, except as provided for certain claims existing prior to August 28, 1992, pursuant to the provisions of subsection 7 of this section, and the employee must make timely claim for such payments according to procedures set forth by a court of competent jurisdiction over the delinquency or bankruptcy proceedings of the insolvent member. Any proceeds derived by such claim of the employee in bankruptcy shall be an offset of any amounts due and owing to the employee under the workers' compensation law. Any such obligation of the corporation includes only the amount due the injured worker or workers of the insolvent member under this chapter. In no event is the corporation obligated to a claimant in an amount in excess of the obligation of the insolvent member employer. The corporation shall be deemed the insolvent employer for purposes of this chapter to the extent of its obligation on the covered claims and, to such extent, shall have all the rights, duties, and obligations of the insolvent employer as if the employer had not become insolvent. However, in no event shall the corporation be liable for any penalties or interest. The division, upon notice of a self-insured member filing bankruptcy, liquidation, or dissolution, shall notify in writing any employee of the self-insured member, who has an open claim for compensation or first report of injury filed with the division, at that employee's last known address of his or her obligation to file a proof of claim with the court of jurisdiction and of the need of the employee to provide the guaranty fund and the division with the records set out in this section. Any claimant claiming benefits under this chapter against an insolvent self-insured member of the Missouri Private Sector and Individual Guaranty Corporation shall, before the division of workers' compensation for the state of Missouri attaches jurisdiction, file with the bankruptcy court having jurisdiction over the bankruptcy of the self-insured employer, a proof of claim or other claim forms required by the appropriate bankruptcy court to secure a claim against the bankrupt employer. Any such claimant shall provide to the Missouri private sector self-insurance guaranty corporation and to the division of workers' compensation a copy, certified by the bankruptcy court, attesting to the filing of such claim or claim forms. Certification shall include the date of alleged loss alleged against the bankrupt employer; description of injuries claimed; and date the claim or claims were filed with the bankruptcy court. Failure of the claimant to provide such information shall bar the division from invoking jurisdiction over any matter for which an employee may otherwise be entitled to benefits under this chapter.
6. The corporation may:
(1) Request that the director revoke any member employer's authority to act as a qualified private sector individual self-insurer if the self-insurer member fails to maintain membership in the corporation or fails to pay the assessments levied by the division under sections 287.860 to 287.885;
(2) Sue or be sued, including appearing in, prosecuting or defending and appealing any action on a claim brought by or against the corporation. The corporation shall have full rights of subrogation against any source of payment or reimbursement for payments by the corporation on behalf of a Missouri workers' compensation self-insurer. The corporation shall have a right of recovery through the maintenance of an action against any third party, other than a coemployee, who is in any way responsible or liable for injury or death to a covered worker. The corporation is also authorized to take all necessary action, including bringing an action at law or in equity to seek any available relief, including any action against any workers' compensation self-insurer, where the self-insurer has not paid all assessments levied by the division or the board of directors of the corporation. If the corporation is required to bring an action at law or in equity to enforce any obligations, rights or duties as regards a workers' compensation self-insurer, the court may award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to the corporation;
(3) Employ or retain such persons, including utilization of an in-house or a third-party administrator, fund manager, attorney, certified public accountant, auditor or other such person, and sufficient clerical staff, experts, professional staff and equipment, including sharing clerical staff and other costs with the division upon a mutually agreed upon paid basis, as are necessary to handle the claims and perform other duties of the corporation;
(4) Borrow funds, including authority to issue bonds or purchase excess or any appropriate insurance or reinsurance, necessary to effectuate the purposes of sections 287.860 to 287.885 or to protect the assets of this fund and the members of the board and their employees in accordance with the plan of operation;
(5) Negotiate and become a party to such contracts and perform such other acts as are necessary or proper to effectuate the purpose of sections 287.860 to 287.885;
(6) Become members of any trade association whose purpose includes furthering the understanding of the self-insurance industry in the state of Missouri, including the National Council of Self-Insurers, or other appropriate state, regional or national organizations;
(7) Review, on its own motion, or at the request of the director, all applications for initial and for membership renewal in the corporation, including financial or other appropriate background studies, actuarial studies, and other information or guidelines as may be necessary to ensure that the member is fully complying with the privileges of self-insurance. It shall be the primary duty of the division to provide adequate staff and equipment and technical assistance to thoroughly review initial applications and membership renewals through budgeted funds and initial applications and membership renewal application fees. The corporation, however, shall have the right to, in difficult cases or situations where the work load cannot be adequately done without the help of the corporation, to assist in any assessment of any applicant;
(8) Issue opinions prior to a final determination by the division of workers' compensation as to whether or not to approve any applicant for membership in the corporation, to the division concerning any applicant, which opinions shall be considered by the division;
(9) Charge an applicant, in addition to the applicant's assessment, for initial or membership renewal in the corporation, a fee sufficient to cover the actual cost of examining the financial and safety conditions of the applicant.
7. To the extent necessary to secure funds for the payment of covered claims and also to pay the reasonable costs to administer them, the division, upon certification of the board of directors, shall levy assessments based on the annual modified standard premium, provided that no such assessments shall ever exceed, in the aggregate, from all members, an amount in excess of one million dollars at any given time, exclusive of all new members' assessments in the amounts collected for same, as is set forth in the plan of operation pursuant to the provisions of section 287.870. Such assessments shall be made at a maximum annual assessment of one-sixth of one percent of the annual modified standard premium. The initial assessment shall be for an amount equal to six hundred thousand dollars, the amount of such fee to be levied over a three-year period, one-third of the six hundred thousand dollars to be collected and received the first year, one-third to be collected and received in the second year, and one-third to be collected and received in the third year, the first year to commence as of the date of incorporation, assessments to be prorated on an annualized basis. The director of the division shall annually certify to the corporation the assessment percentage due from the members of the corporation. The director of the division and the board of the corporation shall within the procedures as specified in this section and as established for the premium tax billings, as provided in sections 287.690, 287.710, 287.715 and 287.730, notify, assess, and receive the assessments due from those members for the prior calendar year ending on the thirty-first day of December, with the exception that this annual assessment shall be payable in full on or before the first day of March directly to the corporation. The department of insurance, financial institutions and professional registration shall make available to the corporation or director of the division data on the self-insured employer's workers' compensation administrative tax data for use in verification of the assessment as provided in this section. If assessments provided in this section are not paid, the corporation shall certify the fact to the division. Out of the first amounts assessed, there shall be set aside an amount equal to fifty thousand dollars, which shall be applied retroactively, before August 28, 1992, to be used and applied for the benefit of employees who have open, outstanding claims, in existence, which have not already been fully and completely settled or for which there has been an award of judgment rendered, and for which there are moneys due and owing. The amount of payment and allocation of funds shall be within the exclusive discretion of the director, such payments to be made on a reasonably timely basis, as the director received funds for such purpose. In addition, there shall be no reassessments against any member unless the director feels the current balance of the fund is insufficient or, after deducting the amount paid for or reserved for outstanding claims and for administrative and other costs in managing the corporation, the amount held shall be less than four hundred thousand dollars, at which point the director shall raise assessments sufficient to bring the minimum amount of the fund back up to six hundred thousand dollars or such other amount not to exceed, in any event, one million dollars based upon a maximum annual assessment of one-sixth of one percent of the annual modified standard premium as shall be necessary to effectuate the purposes of the corporation at that time.
8. Every assessment shall be made on a uniform percentage of the figure applicable, provided that the assessment levied against any self-insurer in any one year shall not exceed one-sixth of one percent of the annual modified standard premium during the calendar year preceding the date of the assessment. Assessments shall be remitted to and administered by the board of directors in the manner specified by the approved plan. Each employer so assessed shall have at least thirty days' written notice as to the date the assessment is due and payable. The corporation shall levy assessments against any newly admitted member of the corporation on the basis of contribution under the plan of operation as provided in section 287.870 and the applicable rules and regulations established pursuant thereto.
9. If, in any one year, funds available from such assessments, together with funds previously raised, are not sufficient to make all the payments or reimbursements then owing, the funds available shall be prorated, and the unpaid portion shall be paid as soon thereafter as sufficient additional funds become available.
10. No state funds of any kind shall be allocated or paid to the corporation or any of its accounts except those state funds accruing to the corporation by and through the assignment of rights of any insolvent employer.
11. All moneys, property and other assets received, owned or otherwise held by the corporation shall be held in such a way as to safeguard the corporation's ability to assure that the purpose and objectives of the corporation shall be advanced and that moneys needed to pay claims to employees of an individual insolvent self-insurer in the private sector shall be preserved.
12. Income derived from the corporation assets and investments shall vest in the corporation and shall not inure, under any circumstances, to the benefit of any member, the division of workers' compensation or any of its employees, or any other party other than an employee. The corporation may reinvest that income as otherwise provided for investing corporation assets. All such investments of corporation income shall be made in such a way as to ensure the welfare of the employees of the private sector individual self-insurers that are financially unable to meet their workers' compensation benefit obligations. In the event that the corporation shall be dissolved, any surplus income previously held by the insolvency fund shall be held in trust for the benefit of the employees of insolvent private sector individual self-insurers in the state of Missouri.
13. The corporation and the insolvency fund shall pay no dividends, rebates, interest, or otherwise distribute any corporation or fund income to any of its members.
(L. 1992 H.B. 975, A.L. 1993 S.B. 251, A.L. 2005 S.B. 1 & 130)