New England News
3:36 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

MA Insurance Regulators Deny Request for Increase in Workers' Comp. Rates

Massachusetts Insurance Regulators have denied a proposal that would have raised state workers’ compensation rates nearly 19%. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Workers’ compensation insurance is paid out by employers to employees in case of job related accidents. The money covers services including medical care and rehabilitation.

The Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts proposed an 18.8% workers comp rate increase last March. The WCRIBMA presented their arguments over a five month hearing, but state regulators at the Division of Insurance rejected the request on Thursday. If approved the change would have taken effect on September first.

Diana Pisciotta, a spokeswoman from the WCRIBMA, said that her organization is disappointed at the rejection of the proposal and now will take time to figure out their next move.

In a letter sent to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance last spring, the organization noted that current rates are 65% lower than what was paid in 1991. The last time the state workers’ compensation rates were increased was by 1% in 2001.

The State rejected small increases in recent years, including a 2.3% increase proposal in 2008, 4.5% in 2010, and 6.6% in 2011.

Brian Gilmore, spokesman for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, told WAMC previously that although the near 19% rate increase proposal was steep, it should not be discounted.

The Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, on the other hand, praised the efforts of the state Division of Insurance to dismiss the proposal. Chamber President Debra Boronski…

Massachusetts has some of the lowest workers compensation rates in the nation. The state places 44th in ranking for costs.

The Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts does have the ability to appeal. Spokesman Diana Pisciotta also mentioned that the organization will conduct a detailed analysis and provide further information on the outcome of the Division of Insurance’s decision to block the rate increase in the future.

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