The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is proposing an average 1.8 percent rate increase for 2015 workers’ compensation premiums.

The proposed premium increase will help cover wage and disability benefits, as well as medical costs for treatment of injuries and illnesses. It will also allow L&I to continue to build reserves to protect against the unexpected.

Cutting workers’ compensation costs

L&I has several initiatives underway to improve its ability to get injured workers healed and back to work while reducing costs and improving service.
  • Promoting injury prevention.
  • Ensuring injured workers receive quality health care.
  • Providing services to support employers who want to keep injured workers on a job.
  • Improving the workers’ compensation claims process.
The Stay at Work Program is one example of agency work to help injured workers and employers, and save money. This fall, L&I launched a second campaign to promote the program. Through Stay at Work, the state reimburses employers for part of the cost of providing light-duty work to injured employees. The employees get to keep working and are more likely to recover faster.
L&I is using wage inflation as a benchmark to keep workers’ compensation rates steady and predictable. Washington’s most recent wage inflation number is 2 percent. As wages climb, the cost of providing workers’ compensation coverage rises.
Public hearings on the proposed rates will be held in:
  • Bellingham, Oct. 22, 9 a.m., Whatcom Community College 
  • Spokane, Oct. 23, 9 a.m., Center Place Event Center
  • Richland, Oct. 24, 9 a.m., Richland Community Center
  • Tumwater, Oct. 27, 9 a.m., L&I Building
  • Tukwila, Oct. 28, 9 a.m., L&I Office, Gateway Corporate Center
  • Vancouver, Oct. 30, 9 a.m., Northwest Regional Training Center