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New York has surpassed California as having the highest workers compensation costs in the country, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.
Oregon’s biennial study ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on premium rates that were in effect Jan. 1, 2018. Researchers also compared each state’s rates to the national median rate of $1.70 per $100 of payroll.
As of 2018, New York is ranked No. 1, with costs at 181% of the median costs nationwide, up from 154% in 2016. That state now spends $3.08 of $100 of payroll in workers comp costs. California’s costs are 169% of the median, down from 176% two years ago; it now spends $2.87 for every $100. Costs for New Jersey — consistently No. 3 in the annual country rankings — increased to 167% of the median, up from 158% in 2016. It spends $2.84 for every 100.
Oregon, which sponsored the study, had the sixth least expensive rates in 2018 at 68% of the median, spending $1.15 for every $100 of payroll, according to the data.
Meanwhile, North Dakota spends the least on workers comp, at 48% of the median, spending 82 cents of every $100 of payroll, according to the data.
A summary of the study was posted Wednesday on Oregon’s website, and the full report will be published later this year, according to a statement.
A separate study released Thursday found that workers compensation benefits as a share of payroll declined in 2016 nationwide, continuing a five-year trend, while employer costs as a share of payroll fell for the third straight year overall, according to the report released Thursday by the Washington, D.C.-based National Academy of Social Insurance.
Yet despite the downward trends at the national level, the report highlights experiences of individual states as varying “dramatically,” according to a statement.
Comp costs as a share of payroll declined in 36 states in 2016; in 19 of those states, benefits fell by more than 5%. The largest percentage decreases were in Michigan and Oklahoma, where benefits as a share of payroll declined by over 10% in 2016, according to that report.
The New York Workers’ Compensation Board is proposing a medical fee schedule that would increase payments by 5% overall to improve access to medical care for injured workers by attracting more providers.