By Shawn Ashley, eCapitol

The Workers’ Compensation Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to continue its discussion of possible litigation concerning its responsibilities concerning own-risk, self-insurer and group insurance programs.

Commissioners Mark Liotta, Dr. Leroy Young and Robert Gilliland, who chairs the commission, met in executive session for more than half an hour to discuss “…initiating litigation regarding the Commission’s duties relating to own-risk, self-insurer and group self-insurance programs under Title 85A and in accordance with the rules of the Commission.”

When they returned to open session, they approved the motion to continue the matter without discussion. That means the issue could be placed on a future commission agenda.

The action comes after broadcast of an ongoing investigation into workers’ compensation reform efforts nationwide by National Public Radio and the ProPublica, which describes itself as “an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.”

The report stated, “While opt-out plans have to be submitted to Oklahoma’s insurance commissioner, there is little review.”

Referring to opt-out plans in Oklahoma, Gordon Amini, Oklahoma Insurance Department general counsel, said in the report, “We are supposed to confirm; it never uses the word ‘approve.'”

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