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Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman on Friday announced Insurance Department approval of two midyear workers compensation loss cost filings, effective Jan. 1, 2019, and resulting in a total 14.74% reduction in overall loss costs.
The Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, which makes filings to the Insurance Department on behalf of the nearly 325 companies that write workers comp insurance in Pennsylvania, proposed the new figures, in line with two recent changes to the comp system in Pennsylvania, according to a statement.
The first filing follows Governor Tom Wolf’s signing of Act 111, which responds to a state Supreme Court ruling concerning how disability claims are handled in workers comp cases. The second filing modifies a loss cost filing submitted in November 2017, effective on April 1, according to the statement.
“Because it is important businesses’ workers comp insurance rates be calculated using accurate information, I directed Insurance Department staff to give these filings immediate attention, and am issuing this approval now so the new rates can take effect on Jan. 1,” Ms. Altman said in the statement.
“The calculation of workers comp insurance rates involves many factors, and each business has different rates based on its job classifications and claims experience,” she added.
“However, because information in the November 2017 filing was used in setting rates in place since April 1, 2018, it is possible some businesses paid higher rates than they should have since that time. Therefore, I am urging all workers comp insurers to determine as quickly as possible whether this is the case for any businesses they insure, and to reimburse any businesses which have overpaid as a result of the November 2017 filing.”
As soon as the PCRB notified the Insurance Department of the need to modify its November 2017 loss cost filing, Ms. Altman encouraged a prompt refiling and committed the department to review and approve the new filing as soon as possible. She said the department continues gathering facts on what led to the earlier filing’s needing revision, to determine steps to minimize the possibility of this recurring, and whether any further department action is appropriate, according to the statement.
“Workers comp insurance is vital to protect workers hurt on the job and make sure they get the medical care they need. At the same time, this is a cost for businesses, and that cost must be calculated with accurate information,” Ms. Altman said.
Jessica Altman, Pennsylvania’s acting Insurance Commissioner, has approved a 6.06% increase in workers compensation premiums.