L&I: No 2013 Comp Rate Increase Planned

Washington is the only state where workers pay a substantial portion of premiums. Workers will pay about 24 percent of the premiums in 2013.

Washington state's Department of Labor & Industries proposed no increase in 2013 in the average rate for workers' compensation insurance. If this plan is adopted in December and the final rates take effect as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2013, employers and workers for the second consecutive year would experience no increase in comp rates.

"Had the governor and the Legislature not adopted the 2011 reforms, I wouldn't be making this proposal today," L&I Director Judy Schurke said Sept. 17. "In fact, without those reforms, we would be facing a rate increase. Instead, we're able to keep rates down for Washington's businesses and workers."

The reforms set in place savings now projected to save $1.5 billion over four years, $300 million more than originally estimated. Schurke cited additional factors responsible for lower costs in 2013, including:

  • Fewer claims are coming from high-hazard industries, such as construction, because of fewer long-term disabilities.
  • The number of claims per 100 workers has fallen by 6.2 percent.
  • L&I has held medical cost growth below 4 percent during the past five quarters and expects that trend to continue.
  • L&I is resolving claims faster because of Lean and other improvements.

Washington is the only state where workers pay a substantial portion of premiums. Workers will pay about 24 percent of the premiums in 2013, according to the state agency, which reviews premium rates annually and adjusts them as needed to cover the anticipated costs of claims in the following year.

Six public hearings on the proposed rates will be held beginning Oct. 23. For more information about the rate proposal, visit www.Rates.Lni.wa.gov.

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