Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services has announced it is decreasing the workers’ compensation pur premium rate in 2008 by 2.3 percent. Meanwhile, the workers’ comp premium assessment, which pays for the administration of workers’ comp and workplace safety programs, is proposed to remain unchanged at 4.6 percent in 2008. The Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment, which pays for special benefits for injured workers and their employers also will remain the same at 2.8 cents per hour worked in 2008.
Employers and workers each pay half of the Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment.
The pure premium reduction marks the second year in a row that rates have decreased, and the 18th consecutive year with no rate increase, DCBS said.
DCBS credits improved workplace safety as one of the major reasons rates have gone down. It said workplace injury and illness rates in the state have declined 50 percent since 1988. At the same time, benefits for permanent partial disability have increased, as have benefits for time loss.
“Collaboration between labor and management has been key to the successful turnaround of Oregon’s workers’ compensation system, which began in 1990,” said Cory Steisinger, director of DCBS, which administers the workers’ comp system. “Employees and employers have worked together to make their workplaces safer, and they have been deeply involved with us in other improvements to make the system more efficient.”
On average, employers can expect a 2.3 percent decrease in the pure premium, although specific cost changes will very by business, claims experience and other workforce factors, DCBS said. The pure premium rate is the base rate employers pay their insurance company for workers’ comp coverage.
The pure premium rate reduction and Workers’ Benefit Fund assessment take effect Jan. 1, 2008. A public hearing to comment on the premium assessment recommendation will be held on Sept. 24 in Salem, Ore.
For more information, visit www.oregon.gov/DCBS/.
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