Mass. Workers’ Comp Rates Cut 1%

April 17, 2008

The Patrick Administration announced an agreement in the 2008 workers’ compensation rate setting proceeding that will save Massachusetts businesses $11 million. The new rates average to a 1.0 percent reduction per employer and mark the ninth time rates have decreased since 1994.

The new rates go into effect on Sept. 1, 2008.

The industry’s Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau (WCRIB) had requested a 2.3 percent hike in rates, which would have generated an additional $25 million in premium had the filing been approved.

“This most recent rate cut balances the need to help businesses control costs with the responsibility to provide employees with appropriate benefits,” said Governor Patrick. “Lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance is very much in keeping with our larger goal of improving the state’s business climate so that we can grow the economy and create jobs.”

Paul Meagher, president of the Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts, credited “the spirit of cooperation among all the parties” for what he said was the earliest resolution of a rate case in years.

But his praise came with a caution that cost pressures are rising.

“While this latest decrease is good news for employers, unchecked rising medical and pharmaceutical costs could cause instability in the state’s workers’ compensation voluntary market, which would drive more employers into the residual market, already the state’s second-largest workers’ compensation insurer,” he said in a statement.

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