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Streamlined N.Y. workers comp assessments to save state's employers 25%


New York employers will pay 25%, or $300 million, less in annual workers compensation assessments in 2014, according to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.

The assessment funds various compensation board programs and is paid by insured and self-insured employers. For calendar year 2014, insured employers will pay an assessment totaling 13.8% of their premiums, down from 18.8% for 2013, the board announced Wednesday.

Self-insured employers will continue to pay an assessment based on a premium equivalent.

The 2014 assessment decrease follows from a Business Relief Act that was enacted as part of New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo’s 2013-14 budget announced in January. It mandated that the Workers’ Compensation Board pare several assessments down to one to fund the state’s workers comp system.

“The previous assessment system was overly complicated, cumbersome and expensive,” the board said in a statement. “It charged employers differently depending on whether they insured with private coverage, with the State Insurance Fund or by self-insuring. The changes enacted reduce total assessment costs, streamline the process and eliminate the antiquated billing process.”

In August, however, insurers sued, alleging that the governor’s budget led to a workers comp law amendment that will cost them and self-insured employers up to $1.6 billion in unfunded liability.