New Mexico workers’ comp. system doesn’t help in competition for jobs

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By Merilee Dannemann

This year’s big news about workers’ compensation is that things are getting slightly worse, slowly, though some of the trends are not so bad. In other words, it’s not big news. As a factor in the state’s economic competitiveness, it’s not good news.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance, NCCI, presented its annual New Mexico statistical report recently. NCCI provides the analysis used by the insurance industry to set rates in workers’ comp.
Premiums will be going up. That’s never good news. New Mexico businesses insured in the voluntary market (where most businesses buy insurance) will see an average increase of 4 percent in the coming year. The residual market, also called the Assigned Risk Pool, will see a 2.2 percent increase. This market is for businesses that can’t get coverage in the voluntary market, usually because they are new, very small or higher risk. It always costs more.
About half the states that report to NCCI are showing premium reductions rather than increases this year. New Mexico’s 4 percent increase is among the highest in the country.

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