San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

SB189 Campaign - CMA saves medical groups millions in workers’ comp premiums

Premium savings for individual medical groups starting July 1, 2018

In 2016, the California Legislature passed a bill (AB 2883) that changed the definition of “employee” for the purposes of workers’ compensation coverage, setting an arbitrary 15 percent ownership threshold to be able to exempt owner/employees from such coverage. Unfortunately, the bill required many owners of medical corporations to pay drastically increased workers’ compensation insurance premiums for coverage they neither needed nor wanted.

To assist affected medical groups and corporations, the California Medical Association (CMA) sponsored a law (SB 189) to once again allow appropriate coverage exemptions for owners. As a result of the new law, physician owners of professional corporations will be able, as of as of July 1, 2018, to exempt themselves from workers’ compensation coverage—regardless of the percentage of ownership. This will result in premium savings for individual medical groups ranging from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Under SB 189, all owners of medical corporations will be able to exempt themselves from workers’ compensation coverage as long as they submit a waiver and have health insurance coverage.

The new rules for owner exemptions apply to all policies incepting or renewing on or after July 1, 2018. All owners of medical corporations must act now to take advantage of this significant savings opportunity.

For more information about SB 189 and the advocacy efforts, contact CMA's Associate Director of Government Relations, Amy Durbin, at

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