Citing wage inflation and rising medical costs, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries announced Tuesday that it is proposing a 4.8% increase in the average price of workers’ compensation insurance for 2023.
If passed, the increase would mean that employers and workers together would pay an additional $61 per year on average for each full-time employee within a company. Workers will continue to pay an average of about a quarter of the premium, a similar share to that paid in 2022.
In 2021 and 2022, L&I said it tapped into its contingency reserves to avoid a major increase in premiums. L&I said it wants to take a similar approach to prevent a major rate hike for 2023. Under the current proposal, L&I will use contingency reserves to cover any gap between premiums and costs to keep rates stable and avoid a major hike.
“After holding rates steady to help businesses that struggled during the pandemic, we are now proposing a modest rate increase that is consistent with our goal of stable and predictable rates for businesses to ensure the long-term health of the workers̵7; compensation fund,” L&I said. director Joel Sacks in a statement. “Even with the increase, the average hourly rate companies will pay will be about the same as what they paid in 2016.”
After a series of public hearings in October, the final rates will be adopted on November 30 and take effect on January 1, 2023.