Worker’s Comp Rating Bureau: Wisconsin’s “Got a Good Thing Going”

Rating Bureau president presents to WCAC, discusses work comp rate decrease in 2016

January 13, 2017

During a meeting of the state’s Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) January 10, the president of the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau (WCRB)—the independent agency that establishes rates charged by insurance companies for worker’s compensation insurance coverage in Wisconsin—discussed the positive attributes of Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation system.

According to WCRB President Bernie Rosauer, Wisconsin’s “got a good thing going” with its worker’s compensation system, noting that other states are aware of Wisconsin’s well-functioning system. In a presentation provided to the Council, Rosauer reminded the Council that worker’s compensation insurance rates decreased by -3.19 percent in 2016 for all job classifications in aggregate, but decreased even more for manufacturing at -5.00 percent.

Rosauer discussed the rate-setting process for insurers. He said that worker’s compensation rates are established by over 400 job classification codes, rating occupations differently based on the risk of injury in that occupation. Rosauer also discussed “experience modifiers” in the worker’s compensation system, indicating that employers who reduce losses and injuries in the workplace receive a credit modifier to their rates—lowering the cost of the employer’s premium as compared to other similar employers in that job classification code.

“Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation program and our high-quality, high-value health care system sets Wisconsin apart from the rest of the country—making Wisconsin an attractive place to do business,” said WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding. “We indeed have a good thing going in workers comp, but some continue fixating on things like the unit price of medical services, and obsolete policies like price setting, rather than the high quality of care and its favorable impact on total medical spend in workers comp. This is unfortunate, as it distracts from appreciating, and thus promoting, the program we have in Wisconsin. It’s time to see the forest for the trees when it comes to Wisconsin’s exemplary workers comp system.”

This story originally appeared in the January 13, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter