June 2022 Update

  • New Benefit Levels Effective 7/1 Released by MT DOLI
  • Last Chance –Webinar on MT System Results and Select Plan 1 Results
  • MSIA Business & Annual Meeting Set for 9/28 MSIA
  • Member Annual Dues Notice Coming Soon
  • Governor’s Conference 9/28 – 30 - Missoula 
  • New Benefit Levels Effective 7/1 Released by MT DOLI 

The new Benefit rates, based on the SAWW and the US 10 Year Treasury Bills have been released by the MT Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) to be effective July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. The new State Average Weekly Wages (SAWW) is $974 which reflects an 6.2% increase over the current levels. This of course reflects the changes in wages paid to Montana workers since this time last year and is the basis for benefits within the workers’ compensation system.

This 6.2% increase follows on the heels of last year’s 8% increase. Those are heady numbers in comparison to prior year changes and reflect the real-world changes in the state. While our state wages have gone up over 14% in the last 24 months, it is safe to assume other states are seeing similar changes. Thus, our benefit levels, specifically versus benefits paid per claim, are likely to remain low in comparison to other state systems. Those benefit levels are based on our average weekly wage. As long as our wages remain low in comparison to the rest of the country, our benefit levels will remain relatively low. That being said, our benefits paid out per claim remain relatively high in comparison to other states.

Those numbers, and the comparison to other regional states and countrywide, will be part of the discussion with NCCI at the next MSIA Continuing Education Webinar this coming Wednesday, June 8 at 10a. The webinar is free and open to all however, advance registration is required.

More details regarding the new Montana benefit levels, the discount interest rate and amortization calculations and the cost of living adjustments are at

Montana System and Select Plan 1 Results FREE Webinar, hosted by MSIA – June 8 10a MDT

MSIA is hosting NCCI in a free webinar to review their perspectives, reported system results and to provide selected information regarding self-insurers and other plan results. One hour of MT Claims Examiner CE credits is available for this webinar.

We will cover:

  • Benefit Cost Distribution
  • Claim Frequency with comparisons to regional states and NCCI country-wide
  • Claim Severity with comparisons to regional states and NCCI country-wide
  • Distribution of Reported Injuries
  • Reported Injuries by Nature of Injury
  • Reported Injuries by Part of Body
  • TTD Paid Durations

Advance registration is required. You are welcome to join us by contacting MSIA at or at 406-431-7220. One hour of Montana CE Claims Examiner credit is available for this webinar. Please feel free to pass this invitation on to others who may be interested as well. This webinar is open to anyone interested in our marketplace. We hope you will join us on June 8 for an interesting discussion. 

MSIA Business & Annual Meeting Set for 9/28

MSIA will hold our next Business and Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Governor’s Conference in Missoula on September 28. The Business meeting for members only will start off at 8:30a at the Hilton Garden Inn in Missoula where we will review last year’s Business & Annual Meeting minutes, potential changes to the Bylaws, adopt a budget and again elect a Board of Directors. If you are interested in serving, please contact our Executive Director, Peter Strauss. 

The Annual Meeting will start promptly at 9:00a where we will hear from Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, Occupational & Aerospace Medicine Physician with the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Van is also the medical director for Mayo’s COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program. He will talk with us about his work and the Mayo’s findings regarding diagnosis and treatment for COVID long haulers. Allan Brandt, of Harvard University has said, “We tend to think of pandemics and epidemics as episodic, but we are living in the Covid-19 era, not the Covid-19 crisis. There will be a lot of changes that are substantial and persistent. We won’t look back and say, ‘That was a terrible time, but it’s over.’ We will be dealing with many of the ramifications of Covid-19 for decades, for decades.”

Members and guests are welcome to join us as Bob always has an interesting take on what is going on nationally and with workers’ compensation. Our meeting will end by 10:00a. Mark your calendar for the MSIA Business and Annual Meetings and the Governor’s Conference. 

We are required to have a quorum of members for our Business meeting. Both Associate and Employer members are needed to have a formal meeting and move the Association forward. If you cannot make the meeting, please be sure to provide your proxy to the Executive Director before the meeting.

MSIA Annual Dues Notice Coming Soon

Thank you for your support and membership in the MSIA. You have allowed MSIA to be re-ignited and to create the new labor – business communications panel, the Workers’ Compensation Council of Montana (WCCM), our Continuing Education Webinar series and now, a financially strong Association. We have also increased the number of members. Moreover, your willingness to participate and confidentially share your thoughts and concerns on issues in the state has created an active, viable and credible workers’ compensation Association in the state. As well, we are gaining national recognition.

Despite increased costs elsewhere, MSIA dues are remaining the same, again. We will be sending out the Annual Dues notice to members within a week or two. Thank you again for your support.

Governors’ Conference 9/28 – 9/30 - Registration Open – Rooms are Hard to Find

Featured Topics for the Governor’s Conference this year include:

  • State of the Workers' Compensation System reviewing the National Commission Report, 50 years later, presented by Elaine Weiss of the National Academy of Social Insurance
  • Plumbing & Wiring: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome presented by Dr. John Schumpert of Resources for Environmental and Occupational Health, based in Missoula
  • When Words Don’t Help reviewing how long-time claims practices help create an environment for sub-optimal results presented by Bob Wilson of
  • ODG by MCG – Improving Workers’ Compensation Outcomes with Evidence-Based Medicine presented by Patrick Robinson of ODG
  • Lighting the Torch, identifying the differences in the boomer and later generations and how we can draw the newer generations to continue our work, presented by Mark Pew, the RXProfessor
  • Physician Roundtable: Hot Topics in Workers’ Compensation featuring Montana workers’ compensation system providers, Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek, Dr. Devin Owens, Dr. John Petrisko, Dr. John Schumpert and Dr. Hans Schwertz
  • Workers Compensation Trends, Topics and What Will Happen (Maybe) presented by Peter Strauss, Executive Director for MSIA
  • Examiner Panel Discussion: The Evolution of Working Claims featuring Montana claims examiner experts, Kevin Bartsch with the MT School Boards Association, Jaimie Kern, with Intermountain Claims (both MSIA members) and Chris Simonson with MSF
  • Workers’ Compensation Court Case Review presented by MT Workers’ Compensation Court Judge David Sandler
  • The 4 Things You Need to Do, featuring Mark Pew and Bob Wilson
  • Medicare Secondary Payer Landscape: the 3 Pillars presented by Amber Worman of MMIA (an MSIA member) and Ciara Koba of Allan Koba Compliance Solutions
  • If We Share The Vision, Why Do We Argue? a discussion on conflict and how we minimize dissention and build a team presented by Tamara Hall from the Premiere Speaker’s Bureau and owner of Communications Plus.

Registration for the annual Montana Governor’s Conference on Workers’ Compensation has opened. To see the speakers, agenda and to register use this link: 2022 Governor's Conference ( I understand hotel rooms in the area are going fast. You may have to get creative to get a room in Missoula for this event.

As always, if you have ideas or topics for MSIA to consider, please do not hesitate to contact us.