Breaking news coming straight from the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I): Employer Workers’ Compensation insurance rates are going down this upcoming year, for record 3rd year in a row.
L&I rates news release
L&I issued a news bulletin today confirming that employer rates for workers’ compensation benefits are going down on January 1, 2020. If you recall, in 2018 L&I cut employer their work injury insurance rates by 2.5%. Then, in 2019 they cut employer rates by a whopping 5%. And, this year the L&I fund insurance rates will drop another 0.8%.
According to L&I, this decrease is expected to save employers an average of $15 per employee per year. Astoundingly, this 0.8% reduction for the year 2020 translates to a $21 million reduction. It is also important to remember that these funds are used for funding benefits for injured workers.
Lowered L&I insurance rates for employers
L&I attributes these lower rates to a “variety of department efforts”. L&I indicates that these efforts include programs to help injured workers heal and return to work. They also include programs designed to educate employers on how to lower their rates, as well as earlier vocational intervention in claims.
Does L&I still make work injury victims a priority?
These are the exact same initiatives that, in my opinion, demonstrate that L&I is not making workers a priority. The expectation is that these efforts will lower the long-term costs of administering claims by more than $2.9 billion. There is no question that the tone of today’s press release is employer focused. L&I is working hard to keep rates steady. According to L&I, keeping rates predictable makes it easier for employers to budget while “keeping the system healthy and stable”.
I have to ask, how is this helping injured workers regain health and stability?