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Nevada ranks low on WC cost list

NNBW Staff

A list of state rankings for workers’ compensation premiums shows a slight drop in premiums in the last two years, and that a number of states are close in terms of how much employers are paying.

The list, put out by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services once every two years, shows the 2014 median value of workers’ comp premiums paid was $1.85 per $100 of payroll, a drop of 2 percent from the $1.88 median in the 2012 study.

National premium rates range from a low of 88 cents in North Dakota to a high of $3.48 in California, the report shows.

Nevada ranked No. 46 on the list with premium rates at $1.26, 68 percent of the national median.

The list also shows 21 states within 10 percent of the median and the range from highest and lowest rankings has been shrinking, according to Jay Dotter, who put the report together.

The effect is that it makes the list more “volatile,” Dotter said, adding that it’s important to note that volatility because some states use the list to measure the performance of their workers’ comp system.

“A small change in the index rate can give you a larger change in ranking,” he said.

Oregon’s workers’ comp system was in sad shape when the state began to compile the list in the 1980s in order to evaluate itself and push for reforms that were eventually passed. The state went from 6th place on the list and was 43rd on this year’s list, its best performance to date, according to Dotter.

The study puts states’ workers’ comp rates on a comparable basis using a constant set of risk classifications for each state. This study used classification codes from the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

In addition to the Silver State, other states where workers’ comp is far below the national median for workers’ comp premiums are Indiana (at 50 percent of the national median), Virginia (61 percent), Arkansas (64 percent) and Massachusetts (68 percent).