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STATE APPROVES INCREASE IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE RATES

 STATE APPROVES INCREASE IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE RATES
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Acting Insurance Commissioner Cynthia M. Maleski today approved a 24 percent increase in workers' compensation insurance rates, effective Dec. 1, for 317 private insurance companies represented by the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau.
 The increase means Pennsylvania employers will pay approximately $700 million in higher annual premiums. The cartel had requested a $1.5 billion increase in premiums, retroactive to last Jan. 1.
 The rate change was made effective Dec. 1 because a retroactive increase would have caused undue hardship on employers who would have been faced with large insurance bills for the past 11 months of coverage.
 The Dec. 1 effective date also gives the Rating Bureau time to make changes to its classification rating plan as ordered by the Insurance Commissioner.
 The Commissioner's decision followed the most extensive hearing ever held by the agency, generating more than 1,700 pages of testimony, 600 pages of prefiled expert testimony, hundreds of pages of exhibits and nearly 800 pages of briefs.
 Employers are required to buy workers' compensation insurance to protect employees against medical and rehabilitation expenses and loss of income caused by a job-related injury or illness. The insurance also provides death benefits to survivors of workers killed on the job.
 A chronology of the rate increase follows:
 WORKERS' COMPENSATION RATE INCREASE CHRONOLOGY
 Sept. 19, 1991 -- Rating Bureau increase filed with Insurance Department.
 Sept. 20, 1991 -- Hearings scheduled by Insurance Commissioner.
 October -- Approximately 2,000 comment letters submitted to Insurance Commissioner.
 Oct. 16-Nov. 4, 1991 -- Four Petitions to Intervene filed and granted on behalf of: Gilberton Coal Co.; Housing Authority and Redevelopment Insurance Exchange; Employers Committee on Insurance; and Commonwealth Contractors Coalition, Pa. AFL-CIO, Pa. State Building and Construction Trades Council.
 Nov. 4 and 5, 1991 -- Public comments received on two hearing days from over 30 employers, one insurer, one injured worker and one doctor.
 Nov. 12, 1991 -- Order of Commissioner continuing the current rates until further order.
 November 1991 to April 1992 -- 14 days of hearings: Nov. 19-21, Dec. 20, Jan. 6-8, Jan. 23-24, Feb. 25, March 9 and 11, April 20 and 27.
 May 27, 1992 -- Rating Bureau's brief filed.
 June 15-16, 1992 -- Briefs from Interveners filed.
 June 16, 1992 -- Insurance Department's brief filed.
 July 2, 1992 -- Rating Bureau's reply brief.
 July 17, 1992 -- Last pleadings by Rating Bureau and Insurance Department.
 Oct. 21, 1992 -- Decision issued by Insurance Commissioner.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/21/92
 /CONTACT: Amy Dugan or Leslie Osborn of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, 717-787-3289/ CO: Pennsylvania Insurance Department ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


MJ -- PH023 -- 2874 10/21/92 12:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1992
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