$315 Million Comp 'Holiday' Declared by Washington State

WASHINGTON state's Gov. Chris Gregoire announced March 12 that a partial "rate holiday" by the Department of Labor and Industries will save workers and employers about $315 million in workers' compensation insurance premiums in the second half of 2007. Beginning July 1, both groups -- which pay equal amounts --will not pay the Medical Aid Fund premium for work performed until Dec. 31. Average savings will be about 34 percent of total premiums paid into the comp system for work performed during this period.

Combined with a 2 percent cut in comp rates L&I adopted in December, employers and workers will pay about $346 million less in premiums in 2007. The rate holiday will end Jan. 1, 2008.

"In the global economy, we need to do everything we can to create and retain family-wage jobs by recruiting businesses to our state and helping existing businesses to expand," said Gregoire. "The rate holiday will help businesses and will also put money into the pockets of workers." L&I manages a comp system that provides coverage for about 2.4 million workers and 165,000 employers.

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