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NY Workers Compensation Carriers Warn of Lost Costs

Last Thursday, two New York worker's compensation carriers issued a warning that a 10.4% boost in loss costs which has been asked for by the NY Compensation Insurance Rating Board is not going to be a sufficient amount to cover the cost of claims for the next year.

However, the claimant's bar fought back, saying that the NYCIRB is basing their claim on ‘improper profit assumptions and flawed data'.

Representatives on both side of the argument do agree that predicting costs on the future is not easy because reforms that are key to the subject matter and signed into law in 2007 by former Governor Eliot Spitzer have not all been completed.

The initial percentage boost was recommended by the committee to stand at 16.8% and was to go into effect on October 1. However the NYCIRB's governing board cuts that amount down to 10.4%. The members of the governing board include comp carriers and public members associated with the Business Council of New York State and AFL-CIO.

The differences between what was recommended includes the share of claims costs that should be based on the increase of indemnity costs and duration caps involved with lifetime benefits for those with permanent partial disability costs which were included in the reforms signed by former Gov. Spitzer.

The maximum weekly benefit has increased and is tied to the state's weekly wage as per the reforms but the NY State Worker's Compensation Board has not completed its work on the New York-specific guidelines of impairment which will be used to set duration camps that can range from 225 weeks to 525 weeks.

The president and COO of Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company stated that medical care costs are rising around the nation and the SWCB's failure to finalize the impairment guides have delayed settlements, heightened legal costs, and have added addition hearings before the SWCB judges.