Sacramento Bee (03/13/12) Dan Walters
California employers’ costs of providing workers’ compensation insurance increased slightly in 2011, but are still barely half of what they were before then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature enacted a major overhaul of the system in 2004. The annual report of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau was released on March 12, and found that the average cost of workers’ comp insurance increased from $2.32 per $100 of payroll in 2010 to $2.37 in 2011 as payouts to injured workers and their medical care providers also rose from $7.8 billion to $8.1 billion.
In 2003, coverage averaged $6.29 per $100 of payroll but after the reforms, which tightened eligibility for benefits, it dropped to as low as $2.16 in 2008 before beginning a slow rise. Payouts also dropped from $12.3 billion in 2002 to as low as $6.7 billion in 2005 before also beginning a slow rise.