Workers Compensation rates are falling for Montana businesses, according to Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Matt Rosendale.

Rosendale has approved a nearly eight percent reduction in workers compensation lost costs to take effect on July 1st.

“Businesses around the state are making fewer claims because we have focused on safety issues, so they don’t have so many incidents,” Rosendale said. “The other issue started back when I was in the legislature in 2011 putting many measures in place to address both the benefits that were being paid and the costs associated with them. At the time, Montana was at the very top of the menu for workers compensation costs while North Dakota was at the very lowest, so we were losing out on that deal year after year. So, we tackled that in the 2011 session to bring costs in line with other states in our region.”

Rosendale said subsequent sessions attempted to undo the work that had made the improvements possible.

“We’ve had to fight back every session, including this one, to keep those provisions in place,” he said. “We also tried to put some provisions in place that would continue that trend that we have in place of reducing those costs. There’s legislation this session that would continue to bring those costs lower through the construction credit program. Also, there’s some legislation that I had worked on in the 2015 session that would utilize what they call drug formulary, those are peer-reviewed medications for several treatments which has proven to not only reduce the costs for work comp insurance, but has also helped folks get back to work sooner, as well as drive down opioid abuse, the best win-win situation that we could possibly come up with.”

The approved lost costs will be used by private workers compensation insurers and also the Montana State Fund in establishing their premium rates.

More information about the approved lost cost filing is available here.