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Washington workers comp advisory rates to remain flat in 2013


Workers compensation advisory rates will remain flat next year for Washington businesses thanks to a series of comp reforms passed in 2011, according to the state’s Department of Labor & Industries.

The reforms are projected to save $1.5 billion in system costs through 2015 — about $300 million more than original projections, the department said in a statement Friday. Washington’s comp system also benefited from a 6.2% decrease in overall claim frequency and medical cost containment during the last couple years, the agency said.

Labor & Industries is Washington’s monopoly workers comp insurer. The department previously had considered increasing workers comp rates between 7.8% and 28.6% in 2013 in order to increase the state's workers comp contingency reserves.

In its latest statement, the department said the workers comp reforms allowed its actuaries to issue a “break-even” rate recommendation of a 4.2% decrease. By keeping rates flat, rather than lowering them, the state said it will be able to add $82 million to the workers comp contingency fund by the end of 2013.