As Dustin Bliezeffer reports at Wyofile, $800 million flowed into the Wyoming workers’ compensation account last year, bringing the total in the account to $1.8 billion. Yes, that’s billion with a “b”. Dustin would like to know how so much money is accruing, and it is a good question. Wyoming is one of four states operating as “monopolistic” systems, where states function as both the administrators of the workers’ compensation system and as insurers or underwriters of workers’ compensation benefits. In all other states employers pay workers’ compensation premiums to private insurers, or they “self-insure” according to criteria established by the state. In non-monopolistic states a sophisticated outside organization (the National Council on Compensation Insurance, or “NCCI”) is deeply involved in the setting of appropriate workers’ compensation rates according to the risks of various jobs. It all gets quite complicated — and I’ll be discussing the NCCI in future posts — but the important point is that monopolistic states do their own “experience rating”– their own risk setting — and there is more than a little concern in Wyoming about how this process is undertaken. While it is true that the account now makes a great deal of money simply through investments, you don’t have to be an expert to see why worker advocates might suspect that workers’ compensation claims are not being paid or are being underpaid.