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L&I proposes 3.1% increase for state-fund employers’ 2022 COVID claim relief

L&I proposes 3.1% increase for state-fund employers’ 2022 COVID claim relief

The Department of Labor & Industries has announced an overall 3.1% average rate increase for 2022, being driven by cost-of-living adjustments for pensions and an increase in the state’s average wage. See their press release here.  

Unlike many states, Washington’s workers’-compensation rates are calculated on worker hours — not wages — so that there is no “built-in” rate increase for insurance as wages increase.  While the proposed rate increase for 2022 is 3.1%, many construction-risk class rates decreased. Click here for rates by risk class.

“The efforts of construction companies and their employees to prevent injuries — and in light-duty accommodation to keep people connected to their employers — help to reduce system costs in many of our risk classes,” said Lauren Gubbe, director of the AGC Workers’-Compensation plan and L&I Retro Advisory Committee member. “For employers in the State Fund, the Department also granted relief of costs associated with COVID-19 and Delta-variant claims for both individual experience-modification rates (EMR) and Group Retro impact, which has helped all businesses and their employees.”

Proposed rate notices are being sent out to members in the Group Retro plan with individualized training on how to understand the rate notice and the claim values in the calculation. In addition, members are provided with key tips to help mitigate red-flag and potential long-term disability claims. Companies not in the plan can email Lauren for a confidential analysis of their rates and training.

As always, AGC continues to advocate for fair and reasonable time-loss rates, no age limit on settlements, a clearer definition of what constitutes an occupational disease — and that cost-of-living increases on pensions and time-loss claims be changed from the state’s average wage to a more accurate and predictable inflation measure, such as the consumer-price index (CPI).

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