PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
LABOR AND INDUSTRIES
Subject of Possible Rule Making: 2009 Industrial insurance premium rates, chapter 296-17 WAC, General reporting rules, audit and recordkeeping, rates and rating system for Washington workers' compensation insurance.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 51.16.035, 51.04.020(1), and 51.18.010.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Labor and industries is required by law to establish and maintain a workers' compensation classification plan and to set premium rates that maintain actuarial solvency of the accident and medical aid funds. By law, the plan must be consistent with recognized principles of insurance and rates adjusted annually or as needed to ensure solvency of the insurance trust funds. Labor and industries is also required by law to offer retrospective rating plans to employers as a further incentive to encourage workplace safety and prevent employee injury.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other state, local, or federal agency regulates this subject.
Process for Developing New Rule: Premium rates for each classification are developed in part from the past loss experience of employers subject to the classification, changes in benefit levels mandated by law or court decisions, medical inflation, economic and business trends and financial markets. Labor and industries will work with the workers' compensation advisory committee and retrospective rating advisory committee as changes are developed. The public can participate in these discussions by attending the workers' compensation advisory committee (WCAC) meetings. A schedule of these meetings is available at www.lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Insurance/Learn/Wcac/WcacMtgMin/Default.asp. The public can participate in discussions of the retrospective rating advisory committee. A schedule of meetings can be found at www.lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/Insurance/Reduce/Qualify/AdvComm/default.asp.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Labor and industries is tentatively planning to hold formal public hearings between October 21 and October 24, 2008, in Spokane, Kennewick, Bellingham, Tumwater, Tukwila and Vancouver. Inquiries can be directed to Bill Moomau, Classification Services, P.O. Box 44148, Olympia, WA 98504-4148, phone (360) 902-4774, fax (360) 902-4729, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 17, 2008