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Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Rate Freeze

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office announced last week that an agreement has been reached that will prevent an increase in rates paid by businesses for workers’ compensation insurance in Massachusetts until September of 2012. The Workers’ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA), the organization that oversees workers’ compensation rates in Massachusetts, had proposed a 6.6 percent increase in premiums.

Coakley claims that by freezing these rates instead of increasing them, Massachusetts employers will save up to $65 million. Coakley said “The industry’s request to raise rates could not have come at a worse time for small businesses in Massachusetts…We told the industry that we believed the rate was unjustified and that we would litigate to stop it.” Although the agreement still needs approval from state regulators, President of WCRIBMA, Paul Meagher, said “with the economic recovery just beginning to gain traction, the workers’ compensation insurance industry is willing to assist Massachusetts employers by waiting another year before requesting a rate increase.”

These rates for workers’ compensation insurance are negotiated and set approximately every other year in a hearing before the Commissioner of Insurance. Coakley’s office will also be able to review this year’s insurance data before determining whether a further rate freeze will also be necessary in 2012. Businesses in Massachusetts are obligated to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to provide coverage for workers injured on the job and their lost wages.

If you have been injured at work or have a question regarding a workers’ compensation case, our experienced lawyers can help. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Sources:

Deal will keep Mass. workers comp rates flat, BusinessWeek, The Associated Press, March 2, 2011
Agreement Leaves Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Rates Flat, Insurance Journal, March 2, 2011
Contact the Massachusetts work injury lawyers at Altman & Altman if you have been injured on the job.

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