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Mass. says no to workers comp rate hike

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(Bloomberg News photo) Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says keeping workers comp rates flat for 2014 would save the state’s employers $75 million.

By Sheena Harrison, Crain News Service

BOSTON (March 27, 2014) — Massachusetts state agencies have reached an agreement with the state’s Workers Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau (WCRIB) to prevent a 7.7-percent increase in average workers comp rates, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance said.

State workers comp rates will see no increase as of April 1, the insurance division said in a statement March 26. The insurance office, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Boston-based WCRIB agreed to keep comp rates flat by modifying “the classification of certain employer groups to allow more accurate prediction of workers compensation losses,” the insurance division said.

The WCRIB had requested a 7.7-percent increase in advisory workers comp rates in December, based partly on a projected 2.7 percent annual increase in workers comp indemnity costs and a 3.6-percent increase in comp medical costs, according to a rate filing posted online by the rating bureau.

Ms. Coakley’s office said keeping rates flat for 2014 would save Massachusetts employers $75 million.

“As the Commonwealth continues to address high unemployment, this is not the time to unfairly increase these costs for the private sector, especially for the small-business community,” Ms. Coakley said in a statement March 21.

Massachusetts workers comp rates have not increased since 2001, when advisory rates were raised by 1 percent, the insurance office said.

This report appeared on the website of Crain’s Business Insurance magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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