Worker Compensation Insurance Rates Likely to Drop by Nearly Nine Percent in Wisconsin

While workplace injury totals are lower this year, advocates complain that high healthcare costs have kept the state from being competitive on worker’s compensation costs.

Continuing a three-year downward trend in premiums, Wisconsin is set to see its worker’s compensation insurance rates drop by 8.84 percent later this year.

A proposal by the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau was submitted to the Wisconsin insurance commissioner last month and, if approved, will go into effect on October 1. The move is in line with rate decreases across the country, according to WorkersCompensation.com.

The decision to lower rates reflects increased safety measures put in place by the state’s employers, who pay for the insurance, said Wisconsin Safety Council President Katie Yeutter.

“Employers have invested great time and resources into keeping workers safe,” Yeutter said in a statement to WorkersCompensation.com. “Thanks to those efforts, workplace injuries are the lowest they've been in decades, despite more people working in Wisconsin than ever before.”

Employers in the state reported 82,400 injuries and illnesses in 2017, approximately 300 less than 2016, the Associated Press reported. But Wisconsin had a rate of 3.7 cases of illness and injury per 100 full-time workers in 2017 – a rate higher than the national average.

In addition, medical treatment costs for injured workers in Wisconsin are still among the highest in the U.S., according to data from the Workers Compensation Research Institute, a nonpartisan research firm.

Chris Reader, the director of health and human resources policy for the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce association, is advocating for legislation to address the increasing healthcare costs.

“Unfortunately the incredibly high cost of health care for workplace injuries keeps Wisconsin from being competitive on worker's compensation costs,” Reader said in a statement. “It is time for lawmakers to help employers find meaningful relief for worker's compensation bills.”

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