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By: Jac O’Delle E. Wright
Employers, agents, brokers and insurers have every reason to keep up-to-date regarding trends and the economic impact involving workplace injuries. Because of frequent changes, including those involving workers’ compensation legislation and case law, safety management programs and training, as well as indemnity and medical costs, it is important to consider the inclusion of reliable, actuarily-based reports into business plan models.
In California, the premier provider of this information is the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) that tracks, among other things, projected loss and expense ratios, benefit rates, duration and nature of claims, renewal percentages, retrospective rating plans, hazard group severity multipliers, average returns on net worth, cost exposure pertaining to prescription medications and liens, and comparisons with other states.
The WCIRB is also tracking the long-term impact of State Senate Bill 863 reforms that primarily resulted from negotiations between employers and labor unions, with several provisions effective January 1, 2013 and beyond. Some of the objectives and impact of California’s legislation were to increase benefits for injured workers and, contemporaneously, address and/or limit the rising costs of medical treatment and related costs to employers in part, through the implementation of a Medical Provider Network program and a Utilization Review appeal process.
Similar information to that provided by the WCIRB for other states can also be viewed, including for the following locations:
Florida-National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI Holdings, Inc.);
Georgia -National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI Holdings, Inc.);
New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board;
New Jersey Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau;
North Carolina Rate Bureau;
Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB)
It is of primary importance to correlate these industry costs and trends with the practical and legal implications as applicable to each individual employment circumstance. For further information, contact our local counsel at Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP, and, for California, contact Jac O’Delle E. Wright at [email protected].