SAIF to issue $1 million in refunds for Malheur County businesses

VALE – SAIF, Oregon’s state-run workers’ compensation insurance company, will dole out more than $1 million in refunds to employers in Malheur County.

Eligible policyholders will receive a total of $1,115,669, an average of $2,040 per business, according to an email from Lauren Casler, communications strategist for SAIF.

There were 582 SAIF policyholders in Malheur County in 2018, and the company received 286 claims in the county that year. 

SAIF estimated that in 2018 the company covered nearly 5,300 employees in Malheur County.

John Breidenbach, executive director of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, said that he and other small employers he spoke to were surprised to hear about the refund.

Breidenbach added that the refund most likely benefits larger employers who pay a higher premium.

“It’s never a huge amount for small businesses, but a little bit I guess is a blessing.”

Statewide, businesses will get back 20% to 24% of the insurance premium they paid.

In Oregon, a worker is entitled to medical care for work-related injuries or illness for their lifetime. For instance, some of the claims SAIF is paying now originate from the 1940s.

In Malheur County, the insurer has paid $1,442,490 so far for claims received in 2018, Casler added.

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