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Oregon employers would see lower workers compensation rates for the sixth straight year, according to a proposal by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.
Employers in the state would pay an average of $1.12 per $100 of payroll for workers comp insurance in 2019, down from $1.23 in 2018, amid efforts including enforcing requirements that employers carry insurance for their workers, keeping medical costs under control and helping injured workers return to work sooner, according to a statement issued by the department on Monday.
The pure premium rate — the base rate used to determine how much employers must pay for medical claims and lost wages — would drop by an average of 9.7% in 2019, driven by lower medical care costs and less severe claims, according to the statement.
The premium assessment, which covers regulatory costs to administer state comp and safety programs, would increase from 7.4% to 7.8% in 2019 for insured employers due to the need to partially offset the decline in pure premium and keep pace with a growing economy, according to the department.
The Workers Benefit Fund, which provides benefit increases to permanently disabled workers and to families of workers who died from a workplace injury or illness as well as supporting return to work efforts, would see its assessment decrease from 2.8 cents per hour worked in 2018 to 2.4 cents per hour worked in 2019. “The fund is healthy, made so by a growing economy, which allows the rate to be reduced,” the department said in the statement.
The pure premium decrease would be effective Jan. 1, 2019, but employers would see changes when they renew their policies next year, while the assessment changes are scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.
Public hearings are scheduled for Sept. 20.
Workers compensation costs in Oregon dipped slightly in 2016 but the number of claims resolved increased, according to figures released Monday by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.