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L&I proposes 4.8% increase in workers’-comp rates for 2023

L&I proposes 4.8% increase in 2023 workers’-comp rates – The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has announced an overall 4.8% average rate increase for 2023, being driven by “general wage inflation and increasing medical costs.” See L&I’s press release here.
“Other contributing factors were the 7.5% cost-of-living adjustment to time-loss rates and pension rates that went into effect in July based on the state’s average wage,” said Lauren Gubbe, director of AGC of Washington’s workers’ compensation plan and L&I Retro Advisory Committee member.
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 2023 is 4.8%, a few construction-risk class rates decreased. Click here to see rates by risk class,
“The efforts of construction companies and their employees to prevent injuries — and employers’ light-duty accommodations — help reduce system costs for employers and employees,” said Gubbe. “For employers in the State fund, the Department continued to grant relief of all costs associated with COVID-19 and variants, both for individual experience-modification rates (EMR) and premium refunds under the retro plan.”
Proposed rate notices for individual companies will be sent out to AGC Retro plan participants along with options for individualized training on how to understand the rate notice and claim values in the rate calculation. As always, Group Retro members are provided with hands-on help with all claims 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.
AGC of Washington 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).

Public hearings planned
Public hearings are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 to take input on the rate proposal before a final decision is made. To support social distancing, the public hearings will be held virtually. Final rates will be adopted on Nov. 30 and go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Join the Zoom meeting here (meeting ID: 428 348 2697)
Join by phone: 12532158782 US (Tacoma; meeting ID: 428 348 2697)

People are encouraged to submit comments in writing or via email to Jo Anne Attwood, administrative regulations analyst, P.O. Box 41448, Olympia WA 98504-4148. All comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 28.
More information about the proposal is available here.

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