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Workers’ comp insurance to go up slightly in 2022

by Staff report
| December 13, 2021 1:00 AM

TUMWATER — The state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) today announced a 3.1 percent increase in the average worker’s compensation premium rate for hours worked in 2022, according to a press release.

L&I has built up a contingency reserve over the years by carefully managing rate increases and keeping program costs down through improved health and return-to-work outcomes for workers. Those strategic decisions cushioned what could have been a larger rate increase, the release said. The rate increase addresses the rising costs due to cost-of-living adjustments for long-term cases, triggered by a rise in the state’s average wage.

With this rate increase, the average rate per $100 of payroll in 2022 will be $1.53, a 1.4 percent increase over 2021. Individual employers may see their rates go up or down, depending on their recent claims history and changes in the frequency and cost of claims in their industry risk classes. Workers will continue to pay on average about a quarter of the premium, a similar percentage to that paid in 2021.

Public hearings for the proposed 2022 rates were held virtually in October. A small number of people testified and submitted written comments during the rules process.

Employers and workers pay into the workers’ compensation system to help cover the cost of providing wage and disability benefits for workers injured on the job, as well as medical treatment of injuries and illnesses.

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