Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Archive for June, 2012

Ore. woman killed in Iraq to be honored with medal

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 29, 2012

The Daily News.com  June 29, 2012

Seven years after she was killed by a roadside bomb, an Oregon woman advising the Iraqi police will be honored with a medal.

The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/MdlnJD) that Sen. Ron Wyden will present it to Debi Klecker’s brother, Greg, in a ceremony July 6 at Bend.

It is the civilian Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom.

Klecker worked two decades for the Marion County sheriff’s office and then on the board of the state public safety training agency. She had moved to Central Oregon and was a contractor for DynCorp International when she died at 51.

She wasn’t eligible for the posthumous award of the Purple Heart, a military medal. A campaign in recent years by family members and others resulted in the civilian medal.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense of Freedom Medal | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

On Post Shooting at Ft Bragg, Officer shot in formation, More Casualties of Untreated PTSD

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 28, 2012

The Shooter- Ricky Elder, Ranger- PTSD

Stars and Stripes July 15, 2012

In October 2006, Elder deployed to Iraq. Nine months later, medical records show, he was working as a gunner on a Humvee when it was hit by a roadside bomb. The explosion threw Elder out of the turret, causing him to lose consciousness momentarily. His buddy died in the blast.

According to medical documents, the doctors who examined the then 22-year-old Elder shortly after the blast found that he suffered from post-concussion amnesia, as well as “irritability, dizziness, visual disturbance and ringing in his ears.”

Afterward, at Elder’s request, he was allowed to go to the morgue to see the body of his friend who had died.

“Patient crying heavily. Heard saying in heavy tears, ‘I don’t want to live anymore,’ ” a doctor wrote in a narrative summary.

After he was returned to his room, the summary says, Elder became “instantly agitated after crying on bed” and struck a bulletproof window so hard that it shattered the glass.

Updated 6pm

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) — One soldier from the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade is dead and two others are wounded following a shooting incident June 28, 2012.

During a unit safety brief a Soldier shot another member of the unit and then turned the weapon on himself. The shooter was injured and is in custody. A third Soldier who was in the area was also slightly wounded in the shooting.

“This is a tragedy for our community. We don’t yet know the reasons for the shooting, but are working with the unit and the affected Families to help them through this difficult period,” said Col. Kevin Arata, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Public Affairs Officer.

ABC News  June 28, 2012

FORT BRAGG, NC (WTVD) — Fort Bragg law enforcement said it is responding to a shooting incident on-post that occurred at about 3:30 p.m.

Officials urged drivers and pedestrians to avoid the historic district of Fort Bragg until further notice.

The historic district is an area near Knox Street close to the 18th Airborne Headquarters and FORSCOM near the heart of Fort Bragg.

Officials did not immediately release more information. Sources told ABC11 that an officer was shot during a formation. The officer’s condition was not known.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Defense Base Act War Hazards Act: Overly Zealous Representation in Defending Against a DBA Claim

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 27, 2012

employer/carrier’s inadequate or overly zealous representation in defending against a DBA claim may be grounds for denying all or some portion of a request for WHCA reimbursement.

So Mr Rayburn how many War Hazards reimbursements has the DFEC denied

in part or whole over the following

Overly Zealous DBA Insurance Company Defense Tactics ?

The use of repeated Defense Medical Examinations with Doctors Over Paid to produce a report detrimental to the claimant, to run them through the drill

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The claims process being drug out for as long as nine years with no end in sight while the defense racks up ever more legal fees, the insco keeps charging administrative fees, not to mention the claimants attorneys fee’s, while the claimant goes without  medical and/or indemnity

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Unnecessary mileage, airfare, lodging, expenses paid out due to due coercing claimants to travel as far as five states away to attend Defense Medical Examinations, Mediations, Depositions, Hearings

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The use of private investigators, some even criminals themselves, to stalk and intimidate injured contractors and their families far beyond simply confirming a claimants status

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The use of  Third Party Administrators to handle claims processes that could easily be done without the added expense and fees.

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Unnecessary fines and interest due to non payment or late payment of  indemnity

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The financial ruination of injured contractors and their families caused by the overly zealous controverting of legitimate claims

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The Temporary Disabilities which are now Permanent due to their failure to provide medical care under the guise of investigating clearly legitimate claims.  Now the US taxpayer is responsible for disabilities far beyond what they ever had to be.

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The PTSD Suicides caused by the Insurance Companies, their claims examiners, and their attorneys

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The break up of families caused the constant pressure and abusive tactics used by the Employer/Carrier

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The forced acceptance of inadequate settlements or stipulated agreements due to starving the claimant out for years on end and/or threatening the claimant and family that if they do not accept the inadequate settlement they will make them miserable for the rest of their lives (see The Weaponization of the Defense Medical Examination)

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Unfairly denying the claimants attorneys fees in order to discourage good attorneys from handling these claims

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FECA BULLETIN NO. 12-01

XI. Miscellaneous

1. DFEC requires, before acceptance of any WHCA reimbursement claim, that the employer/carrier has made only reasonable and prudent efforts in presenting all meritorious defenses against a DBA claim without regard to whether the case is eligible for WHCA reimbursement. An employer/carrier’s inadequate or overly zealous representation in defending against a DBA claim may be grounds for denying all or some portion of a request for WHCA reimbursement.

CECILY A. RAYBURN
Director, Division of Planning, Policy and Standards

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, DBA Attorneys Fees, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, KBR, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Suicide, Veterans, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Iraq releases Former Marine, DynCorp Civilian Contractor, Michael Copleland’s body after dispute

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 26, 2012

The body of an Oklahoma contractor who was found dead in Baghdad is being flown back to the U.S. after a two-week bureaucratic debate over whether the Iraqi government would perform an autopsy on his remains.

Tulsa World  June26, 2012

Officials say Michael David Copeland, 37, of Colbert in southern Oklahoma, is one of the first Americans working for the U.S. government to die in Iraq this year. He was found unresponsive June 9 in his living quarters. Foul play is not suspected in his death.

Copeland previously served in the Marines and later with the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He was a contractor with DynCorp International at the time of his death.

Copeland’s case is a snapshot of the new reality of working in Iraq for Americans who, over the years, were accustomed to vast privileges and influence that disappeared when U.S. troops left last December.

Iraq agreed to release the remains of the Oklahoma man after negotiations with the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. His body was flown out of Iraq Tuesday afternoon.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Dyncorp, Iraq, Political Watch, State Department, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tom Boyle, Civilian Contractor, Highly Decorated Marine, Heroic Former Police Officer, Killed in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 22, 2012

CBS Chicago  June 22, 2012

Chicago Police officer once hailed as a hero locally has been killed by insurgents in Afghanistan.

Tom Boyle, 62, of Barrington Hills died in one of the latest attacks on a coalition forces in Kandahar Province. He’d been working as a civilian security consultant, training Afghan police officers.

He was well-qualified.

Boyle had been a highly decorated Marine in Vietnam before becoming a Chicago police officer.

“Tom was a hero in Vietnam, he was a hero in Chicago,” says longtime friend Steve Kirby, an Elmhurst private investigator. “He was a hero in 1985 when he caught the Strickland brothers.”

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CNA’s Deadly Paper Games, Just another CNA DBA Suicide in the making

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 21, 2012

It is certainly going to have the desired result. 

They are going to kill him and it is going to be soon. 

Before the year is out I believe this man is going to commit suicide.

PTSD Claims to be Expedited

CNA’s Deadly Paper Games do not begin or end with this Injured War  Zone Contractor

Nearly 14 months to the day of a Department of Labor District Director signing an Order approved by an ALJ stating that CNA must provide medical for a  severely Injured War Zone Contractor’s injuries, the details of which were gagged…..

And 3 1/2 months after Injured War Zone Contractor asked the District Director to find them in Default for not doing so……..

CNA produces a stack of  FAXES supposedly sent to Injured War Zone Contractors Doctors stating that they have “re-approved” payment of diagnoses and treatment, most of which were never approved, ever, much less “re- approved”.  In fact for most of the Doctors CNA denied diagnoses and treatment for blast injuries for many years.

Several Doctors stated that yes they received a FAX but that it did not mean they accepted the approval and that it did not guarantee payment.  Payment would have to made in advance.  CNA’s reputation for non payment is no secret.

The rest of the doctors state that they never received “approval” at all.

Unemployed and otherwise uninsured Injured War Zone Contractor pays for some visits via credit card as they are so vital.  Doctor then sends a bill to CNA for payment despite not having received an approval,  which CNA refuses.  Injured War Zone Contractors scheduled visits are then cancelled due to non payment by CNA.

These are deadly games CNA plays in order to continue to deny medical even after a hard won order is produced.

And who do they claim is vague, ambiguous, and whose claims are not supported by Facts, or should we say FAX?

It must be the very well respected and credentialed doctors, or the Attorney, or the Injured War Zone Contractor

This negligent paper game continues despite a recent medical report from February stating:

“I do not understand the entire bureaucracy issue.  He tells me that CNA has written to us and that we are approved for Workers’ Compensation.  We have no record to that effect.  We are just not going to be paid and they are not going to authorize treatment.  Bureaucracies have their problems but this almost seems to be purposeful.

It is certainly going to have the desired result.  They are going to kill him and it is going to be soon.  Before the year is out I believe this man is going to commit suicide.

And he’ll be just another CNA DBA Suicide.

Note:   CNA’s response is to ask for an informal conference.  Several informal conferences, a settlement conference with a Judge, orders signed by a Judge and the District Director, and yet another informal conference after an 18 month default is even a consideration???  Let’s just run this out until the end of year and we won’t have to worry about this guy anyway!!!!

Posted in AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, Interviews with Injured War Zone Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Suicide, Uncategorized, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Defense Base Act: What is a Settlement ?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 21, 2012

A settlement is when the insurance company pays you a lump sum amount to close out your indemnity, your medical, or both.

It is only a settlement when you are paid a lump sum amount of money and you are done with the insurance company.

Nothing else is a settlement.

An agreement based on stipulations to pay you XX amount of money every month is not a settlement, your claim is not then settled.

And an agreement to provide your medical for your agreed upon injuries does not mean your medical is settled.  In fact it means you will continue to litigate

But these agreements do allow the Insurance Company to seek reimbursement under the War Hazards Act as though they were settled

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Liberty Mutual, Political Watch, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Defense Base Act Attorneys: Attorney’s Fees

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 21, 2012

The Defense Base Act provides for claimants fees to be paid by the Insurance Company.

See Who Pays your Defense Base Act Attorney Fees ?

Why then would Defense Base Act Attorneys either charge their DBA clients on a contingency basis, by the hour, or take their fees out of a settlement amount ?

And why would you let them?

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Civilian Contractor Michael Copeland DynCorp dies of unknown causes, Iraqi’s detain body

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 15, 2012

Colbert family pleads to have loved one’s body returned to U.S.
KXII News OK  June 4, 2012
A Colbert family is inconsolable at the loss of their young son and husband working overseas in Iraq. Now, they’ve received even more devastating news.

Mike Copeland spoke with his son, Michael, for the last time Friday night. About 12 hours later, he was told his son had died. On top of dealing with their loss, they said the Iraqi government will not release his body. And now, they’re struggling with the U.S. Government to bring Michael home.

“They came to the door and knocked on the door but I couldn’t open it, because I knew that if I did my life would be changed forever.”

Angela Copeland found out Saturday that her husband, Michael, was dead of unknown causes.

“Sure enough I opened the door and they came in and told me they found Michael deceased in his living quarters,” she said.

Michael Copeland worked for DynCorp International doing aircraft maintenance in Iraq for less than a week before he died.
His father, Mike, said after the company notified them about Michael’s death, they were told his body will remain in Iraq.

“I don’t look for us to go to war over a thing like this but I see no excuse at all for the Iraqi government to hold his body. That doesn’t make sense to us,” he said.

“Of course I felt sad, but mostly I felt angry because I know for a fact that’s not something that Michael would agree with. We as a family don’t agree with that,” Angela said.

Mike Copeland said he contacted the State Department and DynCorp for help, but was told that because U.S. military presence has ceased in Iraq the Iraqi government is in charge.

“Everyone I’ve spoke with is always sorry for our loss, but they say there’s nothing they can do. I find it very difficult to believe that my government…there’s nothing they can do to bring my son home from Iraq?” Asked Copeland.

“If someone comes into the United States and they were to die, it would be the same thing. We’re basically under the Iraqi law.”

U.S. Congressman Dan Boren said they are working with the State Department to get Michael’s body back to the U.S. but it may take a long time because it’s the first death in Iraq since the troops were pulled out.

“We’re actually looking at three different options: one by a U.S. Citizen, one by the Iraqis but are having a U.S. Citizen watch and the other is to bring the body back to the U.S. to do an autopsy,” said Boren.

“He was a good man and we loved him. And we don’t feel like he’s being treated fairly by his country that he served and we want them to take steps to bring him home. We want them to bring him home,” said Mike Copeland.

“We’re not doing good. Because not only are we having to deal with the loss but, we’re having to deal with the battle to get him back home,” said Angela Copeland

DynCorp International released a statement saying:

“We are currently waiting for the Iraqi Government to approve the release of his remains for transport back to the U.S., where the U.S. Government will conduct an autopsy.”

Congressman Boren said the State Department found no signs of foul play while investigating Copeland’s death.

The family is asking the public to help them bring Michael’s remains back home by contacting state representatives

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contracotrs Detained, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Dyncorp, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Injured Afghan Translator Now Refugee faces new issues

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 13, 2012

Mushfiq was taken to Bagram Airfield and treated at the American hospital. But just as quickly as he was rushed into the hospital, his employer, wanted to rush him out to a less costly hospital. “They tried to convince me to go to the Kabul hospital,” he said. “They even tried to sell the allure of flying in a helicopter to get to the hospital. If I had gone to the Kabul hospital, I would not have been protected. I was a target, too. That day I could have been murdered.”

Mission Essential Personnel said they do not make such decisions. “In this case, the transfer would have been handled by MEP’s insurance provider, Vetted International,” said the defense contractor’s spokesman, Sean Rushton. “We contacted Vetted and they said, Mr. Mushfiq ‘was NEVER at risk whilst in our care.’

Mushfiq said it was the U.S. military that helped him remain where he felt comfortable long enough to heal, and also stepped in to assist him in getting prosthetic legs. He returned home but was targeted as a traitor and a Kafir.

In July 2009, Mission Essential Personnel reached a settlement with Mushfiq.  Mushfiq spent the money on security guards to protect him and his wife and bribes to leave the country safely.

SF Gate June 10, 2012

Ahmad Reshad Mushfiq is a 31-year-old man who walks with a cane and a slight limp. His flawless English belies the fact that he has been in the United States for little more than a year. Even in the hottest weather, he wears jeans. He has a permanent smile that exudes hope. Few could guess he is missing both legs.

I first met Mushfiq in Fremont two days after he had come to California to seek permanent U.S. residence. He, and his pregnant wife, Farzana, had come a long way. They were homeless, impoverished and urgently seeking assistance. Many immigrants come to the United States in pursuit of the American dream. This couple came in quest of freedom from war and threats to their lives

Please see the original and read the entire story here

Posted in Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Injured Contractors, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Defense Base Act Insurance State Department Solicitation (Cancelled)

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 12, 2012

Per the State Department:  July 23, 2012
Contractors requiring DBA insurance will need to purchase the insurance in the open market. Contractors subject to the Act are legally responsible for ensuring that their employees are insured. We are providing contractors with a link to the Department of labor’s list of authorized DBA Insurers.
Solicitation Number:
SAQMMA12R0262
Notice Type:
Modification/Amendment
Synopsis:
Added: Jul 18, 2012 1:29 pm

The solicitation is cancelled because no proposals were received.

Agency: U.S. Department of State
Office: Office of Logistics Management
Location: Acquisition Management
Solicitation Number:
SAQMMA12R0262
Notice Type:
Presolicitation
Synopsis:
Added: Jun 12, 2012 1:10 pm

INFORMATIONAL NOTICE ONLY – NO RESPONSE IS SOLICITED AT THIS TIME

The solicitation will be released in June, 2012 for award in July, 2012.
The Department of State (DoS or Department) seeks to designate, through an unrestricted competitive source selection process, a qualified insurance company as its exclusive Defense Base Act insurance provider (Insurer) for a period of two years with an option to extend for six months. The Insurer shall sell the insurance to DoS contractors at the rates no higher than those set forth in an Agreement with the Department

Posted in Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, State Department | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Diesel exhaust fumes cause cancer, WHO says

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 12, 2012

Christopher Portier, chairman of the IARC working Group, said the group’s conclusion “was unanimous – that diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans”.

LONDON (Reuters) –  June 12, 2012

Diesel engine exhaust fumes cause cancer in humans and belong in the same potentially deadly category as asbestos, arsenic and mustard gas, World Health Organisation (WHO) experts said on Tuesday.

The experts, who said their findings were unanimous and based on “compelling” scientific evidence, urged people across the world to reduce their exposure to diesel fumes wherever possible.

In an announcement likely to cause consternation among car and truck makers, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the WHO’s cancer department, reclassified diesel exhausts from its group 2A of probable carcinogens to its group 1 of substances that have definite links to cancer.

“The (expert) working group found that diesel exhaust is a cause of lung cancer and also noted a positive association with an increased risk of bladder cancer,” it said in a statement.

Posted in Cancer, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

John Kirkland, Civilian Contractor, Fluor, Killed in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 11, 2012

Florida Today  June 8, 2012

American Contractor Killed at Forward Operation Base Salerno

John Kirkland, 55, of Houston, TX, passed away on June 1, 2012, during an attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Son of Jeannine and Gordon, John was born in Atlanta, Georgia on June 16, 1956. He would have been 56 years old on June 16th.

John grew up in Florida, where he lived in Melbourne and Palm Bay. He owned and operated a local stucco business until he moved to Houston in 1998. He lived there before becoming employed in 2006 as a Maintenance Mechanic for KBR, a civilian military contractor.

John’s first job assignment was at a military base located in Iraq in 2006. In May, 2010 he was transferred to a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan named Salerno, where he worked for the civilian military contractor Fluor. He was killed on June 1, 2012 during an attack by the Taliban. His remains will be cremated at Dover Air Force Base.

John is survived by his son, Christopher Ashley Kirkland; and his two brothers, Virgil Eugene Kirkland of Ocala, FL and Douglas Paul Kirkland of Palm Bay, FL; as well as an Aunt and Uncle, Glenda and Eddie McCoy of Mooresville, NC, along with numerous cousins.

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Flour, KBR | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

American Contractor killed Forward Operating Base Salerno

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 7, 2012

DoD American Forces Press Service

The attack on June 1 killed an American contractor and wounded dozens of service members.

Panetta was particularly incensed about the Haqqani network using the Federally Administered Tribal Area in Pakistan as a safe haven. The Haqqanis most recent outrage was an attack on Forward Operating Base Salerno in Regional Command-East. The attack on June 1 killed an American contractor and wounded dozens of service members.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Cummings Introduces Legislation to Reform Defense Base Act Insurance Program

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 6, 2012

In addition to cost concerns, the current system has failed to ensure that all injured workers obtain health care services, disability payments, or death benefits they and their families deserve

“There is absolutely no reason American taxpayers should be lining the pockets of private insurance companies,” said Cummings.

“This bill would save billions of dollars while improving the ability of contractor employees who risk their lives in war zones to obtain the medical care and support they deserve.”

Committee on Government and Oversight Reform  June 6, 2012

Washington, DC (June 6, 2012) —Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, introduced legislation today that would save taxpayers huge sums of money by transitioning the existing workers’ compensation insurance system for overseas government contractors away from private sector insurance companies to a federal self-insurance program.

“There is absolutely no reason American taxpayers should be lining the pockets of private insurance companies,” said Cummings. “This bill would save billions of dollars while improving the ability of contractor employees who risk their lives in war zones to obtain the medical care and support they deserve.”

According to a 2009 Pentagon study, Congress could save as much as $250 million a year by transitioning the existing Defense Base Act (DBA) insurance program to a government self-insurance program. The study found: “In the long run, the self-insurance alternative may have the greatest potential for minimizing DBA insurance costs, and it has several administrative and compliance advantages as well.”

Cummings’s legislation, H.R. 5891, The Defense Base Act Insurance Improvement Act of 2012, would direct the Departments of Defense and Labor to establish a self-insurance program in which the government would pay directly for medical benefits and disability benefits rather than utilizing private insurance companies.

The existing system has been a boondoggle for private insurance companies, who have reaped enormous profits under the program. According to an Oversight Committee investigation, insurance companies providing DBA insurance in Iraq and Afghanistan have made enormous underwriting profits that are significantly higher than those of traditional workers’ compensation insurers.

The current DBA system requires contractors to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for employees working overseas from private insurance carriers, and the contractors and insurance companies negotiate their own rates. Since the costs of the insurance premiums are often built into the price of the contract with the government, there is little incentive for contractors to limit insurance costs.

Cummings’s bill would set a six month deadline for the Departments of Defense and Labor to develop an implementation strategy to transition to a self-insurance program, and it would require the strategy to be executed within a year after the bill is enacted.

The legislation would also require the Departments of Defense and Labor to issue a report one year after the program is implemented to assess its effectiveness in terms of cost-savings and the delivery of benefits.

In addition to cost concerns, the current system has failed to ensure that all injured workers obtain health care services, disability payments, or death benefits they and their families deserve. An analysis by ProPublica found that private insurance companies had denied about 44% of serious injury claims and about 60% of claims by employees suffering psychological damage such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

At the request of Congressman Cummings, the Domestic Policy Subcommittee held a hearing in 2009 to evaluate these findings, which confirmed that the Defense Base Act is in desperate need of reform.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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