San Francisco, CA May 23, 2012 – California employers have a new workers’
compensation Policyholder Ombudsman. Ms. Addie Wong took over the Ombudsman
position in March and has begun developing an outreach program aimed at raising
awareness of the Ombudsman office and the services she offers to California
Created as part of the 1993 reforms that led to open rating, the Policyholder
Ombudsman is an independent position within the WCIRB and receives guidance
from an oversight committee whose membership includes an insurer
representative, an employer representative, and a representative from the
California Department of Insurance.
The Ombudsman helps policyholders better understand the workers’ compensation
system and their insurance policies, and the Ombudsman can be of assistance to
policyholders in effectively resolving disputes with their insurers. “The
Ombudsman’s job is to work directly with the policyholder and listen to his/her
concerns and give voice to those concerns to the insurer. The worker’s comp
system is complex and employers sometimes aren’t aware of the resources that
are available to them. Or, they may not understand why their insurer took a
particular action. That’s where I can help,” remarked Mrs. Wong.
Revamping the Ombudsman section of the WCIRB website, updating all of the
office’s printed material and establishing new communications channels are
among her first priorities. Earlier this month, she launched the
“Policyholder Ombudsman” Facebook page and a Twitter account. She is
also planning an e-newsletter which policyholders and others may subscribe to
In the coming weeks, Ms. Wong will be reaching out to employer associations
across the state making certain that policyholders are aware of the assistance
she can provide. “I am excited about the opportunity to help California
employers, especially small employers who may be struggling to understand the
workers’ comp system. I think I can provide a valuable service.”
For more information about the Policyholder Ombudsman, visit the Ombudsman page
of the WCIRB website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request assistance from the Policyholder Ombudsman electronically, use the Request
for Assistance Form on the Ombudsman page.
Press Release/Article from Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB).