Safety Groups earned $1M in dividends

Texas Mutual Insurance Company is happy to announce that the Texas Machinery and Equipment Dealers (TMED) safety group earned an $892,432 dividend. In other dividend news, the Texas Home Builders (THB) safety group earned a $130,050 dividend.

Both workers’ compensation dividends were based largely on each group’s overall loss ratio.  In addition to potential dividends, safety group members have access to industry-specific workplace safety resources at texasmutual.com. They also get a discount on their workers’ compensation premiums.

Texas Mutual underwrites 28 safety groups representing a range of industries, including oil and gas, manufacturing, construction and health care. Any licensed Texas agent can submit qualifying clients for consideration. For more information about TMED, THB and other safety groups, visit texasmutual.com/agents/group.shtm.

Texas Mutual notes that past dividends are not a guarantee of future dividends. The Texas Department of Insurance must approve all dividends.

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West Texas Orthopedics Joins Texas Star Network

Texas Mutual Insurance Company is pleased to announce the addition of West Texas Orthopedics to the Texas Star Network—Texas Mutual’s workers’ compensation health care network option for policyholders.

“Each time we add a group of providers to the network, it allows us to build the largest and most comprehensive network in the state that is committed to providing quality care for injured workers,” said Kim Haugaard, vice president of network and medical operations at Texas Mutual. “We are pleased to welcome West Texas Orthopedics to the Texas Star Network and to work with an orthopedic group that recognizes the need to serve injured workers in Midland, Odessa and surrounding communities.”

“West Texas Orthopedics is the premier provider of orthopedic services in the Permian Basin and committed to providing quality treatment and customer service to all our patients,” said Gary Gray of West Texas Orthopedics. “We look to align ourselves with companies that share our values. Working together, West Texas Orthopedics and Texas Mutual will ensure that the area’s injured workers get the best treatment available for their workplace injury.”

West Texas Orthopedics is the largest orthopedic group in the Midland and Odessa markets with six surgeons and three locations that provide a full range of orthopedic services. Treatment includes sports medicine, conservative management of orthopedic injuries and problems, total joint reconstruction, and surgery of the shoulder, knee, spine, hand, and upper and lower extremities.

Recent Premium Fraud Conviction

A Travis County district court recently sentenced Ellynn A. Ogilvie of Houston to five years of probation, 450 community service hours and a $2,000 fine for workers’ compensation fraud-related charges.

Ogilvie, who owned United Crane, Inc. and multiple related companies, was indicted in March 2009 for her role in concealing payroll and employees from Texas Mutual Insurance Company from August 16, 2001 to October 11, 2004.

Because workers’ compensation insurance premium is based, in part, on payroll, this type of scheme results in an employer being charged a lower premium than it actually owes. By hiding payroll, an employer can gain an unfair advantage over competitors.

Texas Mutual previously reported that Gary C. Quintinsky, who was also a participant in the scheme, was sentenced in March and received a two-year prison term for his role.

In 2007, a Travis County jury awarded Texas Mutual more than $5 million in actual damages and $2.5 million in punitive damages in a civil judgment against Quintinsky. The case was the largest premium fraud case in Texas Mutual’s history.

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