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Workers’ Compensation ‘Reform’ Unnecessary After Rate Cut

Workers’ Compensation ‘Reform’ Unnecessary After Rate Cut

In Christian’s latest article for The Legal Intelligencer, he tackles the topic of rate cuts in workers’ compensation insurance rendering workers’ compensation ‘reform’ unnecessary.

In March, the Wolf administration announced a significant rate cut in workers’ compensation insurance.  This was welcome news after years of threats, driven largely by the Chamber of Commerce, aiming for wholesale changes to Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation law.  According to the governor’s office, workers’ compensation insurance rates were set to drop almost 6 percent, effective April 1. This stands to save Pennsylvania businesses millions this year, and is the fourth workers’ compensation insurance rate cut in a row. These four consecutive cuts stand to save PA businesses $550 million during that four year time span.

After several reform bills were proposed during the Corbett administration that had the potential to negatively affect the injured worker, this rate cut may be the best option to positively affect everyone involved.  It comes on the heels of a reform proposal to address issues with prescription drug abuse of opiates among workers’ compensation recipients that passed with a unanimous vote.  The proposed drug monitoring system will help insurers keep tabs on patients and monitor their prescriptions properly.

Another factor that helped make the 6 percent rate cut a possibility was positive changes in workplace safety throughout the state.  With the establishment of state-certified workplace safety committees, the workplace has become a safer place, which means less workers’ compensation claims.  With less claims comes hundreds of millions of dollars in workers’ comp abatement, as businesses with these practices in place receive a 5 percent premium discount.

Thanks to the four consecutive years of workers’ compensation rate cuts, those with a stake in the system should be able to breathe easier, and hopefully can avoid making radical changes to the system in the near future.  Stability would be a welcome change for all those affected by workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania.

To read more about this topic, follow the link below to read Christian’s full article in The Legal Intelligencer:

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