California Lawmakers Shift More Regulatory Costs onto Employers

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has calculated the 2010 assessments that state law requires workers’ compensation insurers collect from policyholders to cover the budget of the state Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), as well as five related programs mandated by state law. The assessments and surcharges cover the Workers’ Compensation Administration Revolving Fund, the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust (UEBT) Fund, the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust (SIBT) Fund, the Occupational Safety and Health Fund, the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Account, and a new Labor Enforcement & Compliance Fund which, under the 2009 Budget Act signed in July, will now cover the costs of the Division of Standards and Labor Enforcement (DLSE) that until now have been paid out of the state’s General Fund.

Insurers must apply the following rates against insureds’ estimated annual assessable premium for policies incepting January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010:

Assessable premium is the premium an insured is charged after all rating adjustments (experience rating, schedule rating, premium discounts, expense constants, retrospective rating, etc.) except adjustments resulting from the application of deductible plans or the return of policyholder dividends. Insurers must advance the money to the state on behalf of policyholders, then recoup the funds via policy surcharges and assessments. The 1st installment is due to the state on or before January 1, 2010; the balance is due on or before April 1, 2010.

To cover their portion of the 2010 assessments, self-insured employers should apply the following rates against the total amount of WC indemnity paid and reported on their Self-Insurer’s Annual Report.

More details will be included in a memo that DIR will send next week to workers’ comp insurers and self-insured employers along with invoices for each company’s share of the assessments and  surcharges.

Any questions about the 2010 surcharges and assessments should go to DIR Staff Services Manager Amadeo Urbano at (510) 286-7083 or DWC analyst Naomi Carter at (510) 286-7087.