(c) 2018 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Massachusetts Reaches Workers' Compensation Rate Settlement

Massachusetts businesses will save approximately $150 million under a settlement Attorney General Maura Healey reached with the State Rating Bureau (SRB) and the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau (WCRIB). The settlement, which follows the AG’s intervention in an administrative rate proceeding at the Division of Insurance, results in an average rate rollback of 12.9 percent on workers’ compensation insurance in the state.

“This settlement saves businesses millions of dollars,” said AG Healey. “When we lower the rates for workers’ compensation insurance, we protect workers and allow businesses to invest in higher wages and growth.”

Workers’ compensation rates are set periodically in administrative rate hearings before the Division of Insurance. The insurance industry, which files a joint rate proposal via industry group WCRIB, must provide a proposed rate supported by actuarial data at least every two years.

In December 2017, after a review of data with the AG’s Office and the SRB, the industry informed the Division of Insurance that rates should decrease by 11.1 percent. After a January 2018 public hearing and review of additional materials obtained during administrative litigation, the AG’s Office, working with the State Rating Bureau, indicated that further rate reductions were appropriate, and the industry agreed to the current settlement.

Rates for workers’ compensation insurance are set at least every other year in an administrative rate hearing before the Division of Insurance. Massachusetts businesses are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to provide coverage for expenses and lost wages of workers injured on the job.

The AG’s Insurance and Financial Services Division represents the public interest in these rate trials, and advocates for fair rates for insurance customers. Over the past ten years, the AG’s Office has saved employers and small businesses hundreds of millions of dollars by intervening in workers’ compensation insurance administrative rate cases. These savings translate into more jobs for workers in Massachusetts.

The Attorney General’s Office worked collaboratively with the State Rating Bureau to achieve this positive outcome for Massachusetts employers. This matter was handled by staff of Attorney General Maura Healey’s Insurance and Financial Services Division, including Lydia French, Peter Leight, Burt Feinberg, Matt Frank and Glenn Kaplan.
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