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Massachusetts employers will save about $150 million in workers comp costs due to a settlement announced Thursday.
Attorney General Maura Healey reached a settlement with the State Rating Bureau and the Workers Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau after intervening in an administrative rate proceeding at the state Division of Insurance, resulting in an average rate rollback of 12.9% on workers compensation insurance rates, according to a statement on Thursday.
“This settlement saves businesses millions of dollars,” Ms. Healey said. “When we lower the rates for workers’ compensation insurance, we protect workers and allow businesses to invest in higher wages and growth.”
Workers compensation rates are set periodically in administrative rate hearings before the division. The insurance industry, which files a joint rate proposal via industry group WCRIB, must provide a proposed rate supported by actuarial data at least every two years, according to the statement.
In December 2017, after a review of data with the attorney general’s office and the State Rating Bureau, the industry informed the division that rates should decrease by 11.1%. After a January 2018 public hearing and review of additional materials obtained during administrative litigation, the attorney general’s office, working with the State Rating Bureau, indicated that further rate reductions were appropriate, and the industry agreed to the current settlement.
The muddied intersection between two federal laws and a state law in Massachusetts has legal experts advising employers to re-examine their drug-free workplace policies as the state’s highest court recently issued a game-changing ruling related to medical marijuana.