AUGUSTA – The Maine State Workers’ Compensation Board announced Friday that rates will decrease by nearly 8 percent to 7.7 percent. The largest decrease in the rate since 1998 will save Maine employers more than $15.2 million in 2014.
“Maine employers and employees should take credit for the improvement in the workers’ compensation system,” said Governor LePage. “Maine claim frequency is relatively flat, lost time is stable, and the average medical costs per case are down. There has been a concerted effort in the state to improve safety in the workplace, promptly return injured workers to employment as soon as possible and control medical costs.”
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) evaluated Maine’s workers’ compensation system and recommended a premium reduction of 7.7 percent based on multiple factors, including injury experience, injury trends, benefits and expenses, according to a press release.
“I am pleased with the NCCI voluntary market recommendation,” said Paul Sighinolfi, executive director and chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Board. “Their analysis of the Maine workers’ compensation market is consistent with—or perhaps even better than—my impression.”
House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) attributed the rate improvements both to policies enacted under the 125th Legislature, when Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate, and to business-minded appointments made by LePage.
“This is another sign of Republican reforms driving down costs for Maine employers and their workers,” said Fredette. “Director Sighinolfi has done a fantastic job at running the Workers’ Compensation Board like a business, not a bureaucracy,” he said.
“Since being appointed by Gov. LePage in 2011, he’s ramped up efforts to help injured Mainers get back to work in a suitable field and the Board finally published a medical fee schedule that allows them to negotiate rates with medical providers, saving a fortune,” he said.