Requirements for Employers
The Alaska Workers' Compensation Act requires each employer having one
or more employees in Alaska to obtain workers' compensation insurance,
unless the employer has been approved as a self insurer. Determining employee
status is accomplished utilizing the relative-nature-of-the-work-test
as set out in Alaska Regulation 8 AAC 45.890.
There are few exceptions to those who need to be covered under
a workers' compensation policy. Generally speaking, those include: sole
proprietors in a sole proprietorship; general partners in a partnership;
executive officers in a nonprofit corporation, members in a member managed
limited liability company, part-time baby-sitters, cleaning persons (non-commercial),
harvest help and similar part-time/transient help, sports officials for
amateur events, contract entertainers, commercial fishers, taxicab drivers
whose compensation is by contractual arrangement, a participant in the
Alaska temporary assistance program, and professional hockey team players
and coaches if those persons are covered under a health care insurance
plan. In addition, executive officers in a for-profit corporation may
exempt themselves by filing an Executive Officer Waiver with the department.
Other special provisions set out in statute include:
- High school students in work study programs are covered under the
Act as employees of the state;
- volunteer emergency medical technicians are covered under the Act
as employees of the state;
- executive officers of municipal, religious, and nonprofit corporations
are not considered to be employees unless the corporation specifically
elects to cover them
- special public safety officers appointed by the Commissioner of Public
Safety are covered under the Act as employees of the state
- members of state boards and commissions are covered under the Act
as employees of the state
- volunteer fire fighters are covered under the act as employees of
the local fire department
- individuals engaged in civil defense or in disaster relief functions
in Alaska are covered under the Act as employees of the state
- Individual members of the Alaska State Defense Force who have been called into active duty, per AS 26.05.070, are covered under the Act as employees of the State.
Insurance coverage is obtained from commercial insurance carriers. Employers should contact their insurance agent or broker for assistance in acquiring a workers' compensation policy for their business. If a person is unable to obtain coverage from a commercial carrier, they can purchase insurance through Alaska's Assigned Risk Pool, which is administered by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). Alaska does not have workers' compensation group pools. Once an employer has coverage, they are required to provide proof of workers' compensation insurance to the Division of Workers' Compensation (usually submitted by the insurance company to NCCI). There are substantial civil and criminal penalties that apply to an employer who fails to maintain coverage and/or fail to pay compensation.
The cost of a workers' compensation policy (the premium) is based upon
the employer's payroll, type of business risk (classification assignment),
and the employer's loss history. If an employer believes that their premium
is too high, or that their business is improperly classified, they can
request arbitration from the NCCI, and the Alaska Review and Advisory
Committee. For additional information, contact the Division of Insurance
at (907) 465-2515.
Enclosed are several statutory citations pertaining to an employer's
responsibility to provide workers' compensation coverage in Alaska. Please
feel free to contact the division should you have any additional questions.
Please contact Mike
Monagle should you have any additional questions.