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Workers' compensation costs increase in Oregon

Workers' compensation is intended to help Oregon workers who have been injured or even killed on the job and their families. Now, reports indicate that increasing medical costs for those workers may be one of the reasons that the cost of workers' compensation insurance is rising in our state. In fact, the costs for these important benefits have risen over the past two years after years of decline. Now, employers in our state will expect to pay an average of $1.52 per $100 in payroll next year, according to reports.

In Oregon, the cost to employers for workers' compensation varies depending on the industry. If a worker is in the clerical field, an employer in our state may only pay an average of $.15 per $100 in payroll. Contrasting that is one of our state's most dangerous professions, logging. To insure a worker in this field, an employer should expect to pay $20.91 per $100 in payroll.

The changes in the rates for workers' compensation insurance for employers may be the result of the static economy in our state. In addition, the costs for medical care have continued to rise even during the recent recession. It appears that over the period between 2003 and 2010, medical claim costs in Oregon increased by 31 percent, while wages in our state increased only 20 percent, a marked difference.

The workers' compensation insurance program is meant to take care of those of us in Oregon who have suffered injury on the job. The costs for recovery and return to work can include medical care and, in some cases even extended rehabilitation. To cover these expenses, employers in our state must pay a portion of the workers' compensation insurance. By employers securing workers' compensation insurance and abiding by guidelines, workers can have the assurance that they will be protected in their right to make a claim for benefits if they suffer an injury on the job.

Source: oregonlive.com, "Oregon workers compensation costs will increase again 2013," Brent Hunsberger, Sept. 13, 2012

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