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Massachusetts says no to proposed 7.7% workers comp rate hike

Massachusetts says no to proposed 7.7% workers comp rate hike

Massachusetts state agencies have reached an agreement with the state's Workers Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau to prevent a 7.7% increase in average workers comp rates, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance said.

State workers comp rates will see no increase as of April 1, the insurance division said in a statement Thursday. The insurance office, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Boston-based WCRIB agreed to keep comp rates flat by modifying “the classification of certain employer groups to allow more accurate prediction of workers compensation losses,” the insurance division said.

The WCRIB had requested a 7.7% increase in advisory workers comp rates in December, based partly on a projected 2.7% annual increase in workers comp indemnity costs and a 3.6% increase in comp medical costs, according to a rate filing posted online by the rating bureau.

Ms. Coakley's office said keeping rates flat for 2014 would save Massachusetts employers $75 million.

“As the Commonwealth continues to address high unemployment, this is not the time to unfairly increase these costs for the private sector, especially for the small-business community,” Ms. Coakley said in a statement Friday.

Massachusetts workers comp rates have not increased since 2001, when advisory rates were raised by 1%, the insurance office said.