Rush manages the Authority’s workers’ compensation program, including the third-party administrator and defense panel attorneys, and cost containment programs, such as the medical provider network.
He attributes his longevity with the California JPIA to several factors, including the cohesiveness of the Authority’s staff and the support of the Authority’s Executive Committee.
“One of the best things about working for the California JPIA is the camaraderie among the staff, which feels unique compared to other organizations where I’ve worked,” he said. “I also love that the Executive Committee supports initiatives that add value to the members’ experience.”
The Authority’s tailored training program also ranks high: “Before I came on board, I did not realize how robust and comprehensive our training program was,” said Rush. “Different members come to the table with different challenges; the Authority is responsive and nimble, ready to develop a unique plan to help members when challenging situations arise.”
In partnership with the California JPIA’s training team, Rush will present a series of webinars that will provide member-focused workers’ compensation education. This programming— the next two are scheduled for February and May—will complement theAuthority’s in-person Workers’ Compensation Symposium, which takes place in August.
At the first webinar series session in November, Rush covered SB 1127, signed into law in September. The new statute reduces an employer’s decision timeframe to accept or deny a workers’ compensation claim and increases the penalty placed on an employer for unreasonably rejecting specific claims of injury. Rush also hosted a webinar for the Public Agency Risk Management Association (PARMA).
“SB 1127 represents a fundamental shift in how presumptive claims are handled,” said Rush. “It’s now up to the California JPIA to educate our members and to adjust how we handle these claims.” Rush is currently working with members as the Authority transitions to a new third party claims administrator. Athens Administrators will begin providing claims administration services for the California JPIA effective January 1, 2023.
“Jeff has done an excellent job working with Athens and our current claims team as we move forward with this transition. I have enjoyed working with him on the move to ensure it is as smooth and seamless as possible for our members,” said Deputy Executive Officer Alex Smith.
“I look forward to navigating that transition—while retaining most of our current claims team members,” Rush said. “Cultivating the Authority’s relationship with Athens will add value for our members, who will be able to give the employees the best workers’ compensation system experience they can.”
Rush joined the California JPIA in December 2012 from CSAC Excess Insurance Authority, where he was a supervising claims specialist. He began his risk management career in 1993 when, after responding to a newspaper ad from a national third-party administrator, he was hired as a claims examiner just one month after graduating from college.
Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from California State University, Sacramento, as well as certifications as a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and an Associate in General Insurance, Insurance Data Analytics, Claims, Risk Management for Public Entities, and Risk Management from The Institutes Risk & Insurance Knowledge Group; a Workers’ Compensation Claims Professional and California Workers’ Compensation Claims Administrator from the Insurance Education Association; and a Certified Professional Disability Manager from the Disability Management Employer Coalition.
“The insurance industry is constantly changing, and workers’ compensation is no exception, both legislatively and in terms of case law,” said Rush, who sits on the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities’ legislative committee. “Learning about trending topics through publications and event attendance helps me share current and relevant information with the California JPIA’s members.”
Currently serving as vice president of PARMA, Rush will assume a new role as PARMA’s president in February 2023. PARMA is an association dedicated to the professional development of California public agency risk managers and other staff who support risk management in their organizations.
“Jeff’s leadership of organizations that support enrichment and professional development for public agency risk managers demonstrates his dedication to risk management,” said Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull. “We are proud to support him as he moves into this important role.”
Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 120 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at cjpia.org.