ARAWC Member Spotlight: Michelle Villarreal, Occupational Accident Risk

ARAWC Member Spotlight

Michelle Villarreal, Occupational Accident Risk, Inc.

1. How did you get introduced to the non-subscription industry?
I worked for CIGNA companies about 25 years ago and at that time HEB and HB Zachary were two premier accounts. HEB elected to opt-out of coverage and shortly thereafter Zachary and that was my introduction to the concept of Texas non- subscription programs.
2. How were you introduced to ARAWC?
As a local TPA specializing in non-subscriber claims administration, we try to stay involved in the community. At a TDI conference where I was speaking, I ran into Bill Minick who mentioned to me the vision of ARAWC and where they were going in providing improved benefits for injured workers and cost savings to employers, which is in line with our company philosophy. I attended one of the first meetings and was captivated. We joined shortly thereafter.
3. Tell us about your company.
Occupational Accident Risk is a Third-Party Administrator based near San Antonio with experienced adjusters dedicated to the claim’s administration of large carrier programs and employers alike. Our experience is broad from the interpretation of plans and policies to subrogation, litigation, and cradle to gave claims handling. The bulk of the staff are long-time employees with over 10-year experience each. As the President, I am personally involved in the claims adjudication and maintain a personal relationship with our clients. I have been a licensed claims adjuster for over 25 years. Our staff of seasoned adjusters have helped us to establish a reputation within the insurance community for objectivity and accuracy coupled with the flexibility required of a non-subscriber program.
4. What benefits have you seen so far from being an ARAWC member?
I have enjoyed the benefit of getting to mingle with like-minded professionals interested in offering an improved level of work injury benefits to their employees while managing their program in a practical way.
5. Why do you think ARAWC is important to your company?
The option to elect to provide an improved level of coverage to employees through the implementation of a non-subscriber benefit plan is exclusive to Texas and it is essential to continue to educate legislators and others of its benefits. ARAWC has taken on this obligation and it is important to us to continue to support their efforts. Their commitment to protecting and promoting the Texas injury benefit programs for all of us in this market is material to our organization
6. Have you had the opportunity to meet and chat with other ARAWC members, either within your industry sector or in general? And what has been your impression of ARAWC and the organization’s efforts so far?
I have had the opportunity to meet several vendor partners and employer members and have made long-lasting relationships and friendships. I served on the Membership committee and had the benefit of seeing the inner workings of the organization. Their dedication to working with legislators to educate them on the benefits of Texas opting into Non-Subscription is admirable and appreciated. The volunteer work that these individuals do is praiseworthy. I invite anyone who has the time or desire to offer their time to participate in the various committees.