MONTANA SELF INSURERS' ASSOCIATION


June 2023 Update

  • DOLI Releases New Benefit Levels Effective 7/1/23
  • Artificial Intelligence & Insurance: Introducing InsurGPT

  • MT Governor's Conference on Workers' Compensation 9/27 - 9/29/23 Bozeman
  • MSIA Business & Annual Meeting Set for 9/26/23 - 8:15a
  • Member Annual Dues Notice Coming Soon

Department of Labor & Industry Releases New Benefit Rates

The new SAWW, effective for claims on or after July 1, 2023, is $1,034.00, a 6.2% increase over current levels. This reflects the increase in wages paid to Montana workers since this time last year and is the basis for benefits within the workers’ compensation system. While the increase is lower than last year’s increase, it demonstrates higher than usual wage increases in Montana. While that’s good for workers, it also reflects inflationary trends in our overall economy. The new benefit rates, based on the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) and the US 10 Year Treasury Bills, were released by the MT Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) to be effective 7/1/23- 6/30/24, last week. 

More information regarding Compensation Benefits & Rates, is available through the Montana Department of Labor & Industry's website at Compensation Benefits & Rates (mt.gov) Questions can be directed to Jason Swant, Manager, Workers’ Compensation Section, (406) 444-6451.


Artificial Intelligence comes to Insurance

While the following seems like a commercial, it is really a demonstration of what artificial intelligence (AI) brings both to our world and our business. The next two paragraphs were written without human interaction, other than a request, some background and some parameters. Artificial intelligence, as discussed earlier this year in our WCRI Annual Meeting report, is coming, if it is not already here. With it, of course are changes we may have a hard time addressing. At the same time, as with everything, there is the potential for abuse. With any change, there are challenges and the potential need for limitations and regulation of its’ use. On the other hand, remember when your driving habits as a basis for auto insurance prices was new? Now, it is commonplace, and expected, as a rating tool. So too, is it with artificial intelligence in our society and in the business of insurance. 

Introducing InsurGPT

Roots Automation, a company specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, has launched InsurGPT, a sophisticated AI model tailored specifically for the insurance sector. InsurGPT enhances the abilities of Roots Automation's "Digital Coworkers" by using Large Language Models (LLMs) to pull out precise data from an array of insurance documents, both structured and unstructured. It does this efficiently and accurately, with fewer errors than generic AI models.

InsurGPT is integrated within all of Roots Automation's Digital Coworkers. The system improves with every interaction between humans and these Digital Coworkers. It reads and interprets insurance documents like a human would, providing quick, precise results on a large scale. This technology is already being employed successfully, for example, by a national Third-Party Claims Administrator to streamline its first notice of loss process. 

We will all need to learn more and we will have to discuss limitations and regulation as we move forward. We may not like it, we may not be comfortable with it yet, but AI is coming to our world and our business. As we said, the above two paragraphs were written by ChatGPT (another AI tool) after providing it an article and asking for a two paragraph summary using 9th grade level vocabulary & grammar. Here is a link to that article, where you can read more about Roots Automation's InsurGPT: Roots Automation Introduces InsurGPT (TM) - World’s Most Advanced Generative AI Model for Insurance.

Business Insurance: AI Webinar June 15th 11:00a-12p MDT

Gradient AI is sponsoring the upcoming Business Insurance Webinar "The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Workers' Comp Claims Management" with panelists Skip Brechtel of CCMSI, Ken Bunn of Builders Mutual and Ann Latimer of Signal Mutual. They will discuss how AI is transforming workers compensation claims management.  This is a fantastic opportunity to hear from three claims executives who have put AI to work in their own operations. If interested, you may register here: Registration (gotowebinar.com)


Governors’ Conference 9/27 – 9/29/23 *Registration Open *

~~Book now as hotels are filling up fast~~

The Kimpton, the conference hotel, is already booked!

DOLI recommends contacting the following hotels for lodging and referencing "Governor's Conference" when reserving:

  • C'mon Inn Hotel & Suites 406-587-3555
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bozeman 406-582-4995
  • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson 406-219-0911
  • My Place Hotel 406-586-8228


The general theme of this year’s conference is Everyday Heros’ and the featured topics include:

  • The Future of Occupational Health
  • Work Comp Court Case Review
  • Unsung Heroes of Work Comp
  • Can the Brain Heal Itself with Virtual Reality?
  • Active Listening to Identify Other's Interests and Needs

To register, review conference speakers and the agenda visit this link:  2023 Governor's Conference (mt.gov)

MSIA Business & Annual Meeting Set for 9/27/23

MSIA will hold our next Business and Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Governor’s Conference in Bozeman on September 27th. The Business meeting for members-only will start off at 8:15a at the Kimpton Armory Inn, Bozeman (the Conference hotel).

The Agenda will include a review of last year’s Business & Annual Meeting minutes, potential changes to the Bylaws, adoption of a budget and elect Board of Directors members. Board members are elected for two year terms and our elections are staggered each year. This year the Chair, Vice Chair and a member at large seat are up for election. Last year’s meeting DRAFT meeting minutes and last year’s budget are available through the Members Only section of the MSIA website, Montana Self Insurers' Association. A formal agenda and the proposed DRAFT 2023 – 24 budget will be sent to all members during the summer. 

With the upcoming retirement of our Chair, Ann Komac from MMIA, and Vice Chair, Jamie Haun of Rosauers, we will have two vacancies on the Board. Any Employer member is eligible to serve. Our bylaws permit one Associate to serve on the Board, with full voting rights and last year we elected Michael Marsh of Midland Claims Service to be Secretary/Treasurer. If you are interested in serving on the MSIA Board, please contact us by text, phone or email. 

We are required to have a quorum of members for our Business meeting to conduct business. Both Associate and Employer members are needed to have a meeting and continue to move the Association forward. If you cannot make the meeting, please be sure to provide your written proxy to the Association before the meeting. All members, Associates and Employers, are welcome (and needed) to attend the Business Meeting.


MSIA Annual Meeting will start promptly at 9a.

We will welcome other Conference attendees and our guest speaker, Debra Livingston, President and CEO of ReEmployAbility, Inc. 

Livingston started ReEmployAbility almost 20 years ago after a career in various executive roles in the workers’ compensation industry. Today, the Transition2Work program has helped thousands of injured workers, individuals who are typically concerned and uncertain about their lives after having experienced an injury. Through ReEmployAbility, she works with clients to advocate for their employees and to encourage a more empathetic and supportive approach during the return-to-work process. By joining business and community, ReEmployAbility has provided volunteers to thousands of nonprofit organizations across the US who have contributed over 14.7 million hours of community service!

Livingston is also a member of Chief Leadership Group, a private network for women in executive leadership, and serves on several boards. She is a member of the WorkCompCentral Education Advisory Board, a faculty member of WorkCompCollege.com, and on the executive board of The Spring of Tampa Bay. 

Our meeting will end by 10:00a. Please mark your calendar for the MSIA Business & Annual Meetings and the Governor’s Conference. 

MSIA Annual Dues Notice Coming Soon

Thank you for your continued support and membership in the MSIA. We have increased our membership numbers again this year. More important, particularly during the legislative session, 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 and one that is gaining national recognition again.

The Board of Directors has again agreed to maintain the existing dues schedule - for at least the fifth year in a row, there is no change to the dues levels from prior years. Despite expanding our programs to include the acclaimed MSIA Continuing Education Webinar series, taking a more active role in public policy debates and legislation, getting back to participating in national workers’ compensation programs and our financial management of your dues monies, your support has put us in a position of not needing to increase dues rates.

First renewal notices for the July 1 renewal cycle will be going out to members the week of June 12. Membership dues are due by July 31. For those members who joined later in the year and are on the January renewal cycle, your dues notice will be coming out in November. We will also be updating the MSIA Website and will provide the new Members Only section password prior to the Annual Meeting.

Thank you again for your membership and your support. YOU make this Association work!

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


Peter Strauss, Executive Director

MT Self Insurers Association

520 Monroe Ave

Helena, MT 59601