Workers’ Comp Loss Costs to Fall 16.3% in Oklahoma Next Year

Workers’ compensation loss costs for 2018 will decrease by 16.3 percent in Oklahoma according to a filing by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) reported.

Loss costs are an insurance industry term for the base line premium variable, which insurance companies use to develop their rates. The 2018 filing shows the largest percentage decrease in loss costs since workers’ compensation reforms were passed in 2013.

According to the Oklahoma Insurance Department, this will be the fifth year in a row that the annual filing most insurance carriers will use to develop rates for workers’ compensation insurance has decreased in the state.

The department said that in its filing NCCI credits Oklahoma’s reduction to several factors, with the most significant being the experience Oklahoma has had in recent years following legislative reforms.

The 2018 filing shows the largest percentage decrease in loss costs since workers’ compensation reforms were passed in 2013, the WCC said.

With the decrease for 2018, workers’ compensation loss costs rate reductions filed by NCCI since 2013 will total 63.7 percent, the OID reported.

The new loss costs will go through a review process and are expected to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, according to the OID. NCCI files loss costs annually with the department and files supplemental amendments, when needed, to address significant changes in expectations such as court decisions.

“We have seen great success with efficiently resolving workplace injuries, but our work is not done,” Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said in the department’s announcement. “The Legislature must continue to address areas of concern, such as those presented to the courts, to ensure we can maintain a stable market in Oklahoma. We are reaching a point where continued improvements in our markets will require innovation in the care of injured workers.”

NCCI will hold a State Advisory Forum in Oklahoma City on Oct. 10. The Oklahoma Insurance Department will sponsor a second forum in Tulsa on Oct. 11.

The NCCI is an advisory organization that studies workplace injuries, collects workers’ compensation claim data, analyzes industry trends and develops loss costs to be used in the ratemaking process. Most workers’ compensation carriers use the NCCI loss cost values when determining the rates charged to Oklahoma employers.

The WCC was established February 1, 2014, to replace the previous Workers’ Compensation Court. The WCC processes all injured worker claims filed on and after February 1, 2014.