California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi is recommending a -9.5 percent decrease in the workers’ compensation advisory pure premium rates for policies incepting on or after Jan. 1, 2007.
The recommendation is higher than the -6.3 percent recommended by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB), and will bring the cumulative total reduction in the cost of claims within the system to -59.4 percent, according to the commissioner. The decreases have resulted from a continuing drop in the frequency of workers’ compensation claims, a decreasing amount of total permanent disability payments, and record low combined loss ratios for the industry, he said.
“It is an achievement of national significance, as no other state has recorded such success in reforming a broken workers’ compensation system,” Garamendi said. “However, more improvements must be made, primarily to ensure that injured workers receive the care to which they are entitled. I, and many others, have heard far too many reports of suffering by injured workers who don’t receive proper compensation, or who experience unnecessary delays in receiving the medical care they need.
“Though the system is now more financially stable, it must be improved to deal appropriately with seriously injured workers seeking fair compensation and timely medical care,” he continued. “The medical treatment guidelines and utilization review system that we established to reform the system are necessary, but they must be used to help injured workers, not to block or delay reasonable and prompt treatment.”
A copy of the decision can be found at the bottom of the press release at www.insurance.ca.gov.
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