NYCIRB Examines N.Y.’s Proposed Workers’ Comp Reform Bills

March 22, 2013

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s workers’ compensation reform proposals are expected to bring overall net savings to employers, according to analysis from the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board (NYCIRB).

The NYCIRB said Part O of Senate Bill 2605 /Assembly Bill 3005 — which is part of the proposed budget bill introduced by Gov. Cuomo in January — seeks to reform several elements of the workers’ compensation system. Subsequently, the New York Senate introduced S2605C which is similar to the original bill, and the New York Assembly introduced A3005C which has several sections either omitted, added, or revised from the governor’s original budget bill.

The NYCIRB estimates that Part O of Gov. Cuomo’s budget bill (S2605/A3005) will result in an increase of between 4.4 percent and 5.3 percent in future workers compensation loss costs. In addition, the NYCIRB estimates that the closure of the Reopened Case Fund will result in an unfunded liability for private carriers and the State Insurance Fund of between $1.1 Billion and $1.6 Billion.

The increase in loss costs, however, will be largely offset by a reduced Reopened Case Fund assessment, according to the NYCIRB’ analysis. Combined with the anticipated long term savings from the elimination of the Aggregate Trust Fund, this bill is expected to result in overall net savings in employers’ costs, the NYCIRB said.

The NYCIRB said that while the latest S2605C is expected to result in the same impact as the governor’s budget bill, A3005C is expected to result in an overall increase of 0.3 percent in loss costs, due to the increase in the minimum weekly benefits.

The NYCIRB’s full analysis can be found on the association’s website (a PDF file).

The NYCIRB is a non-profit, unincorporated association of insurance carriers, including the State Insurance Fund. In conjunction with the New York workers’ compensation law, the insurance law provides for regulators to designate a rate service organization to collect the loss, premium and payroll data from each carrier, summarize this information and develop an adequate rate structure. Since the enactment of the workers’ compensation law in 1914, the NYCIRB has been licensed as the official organization for this purpose.

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