Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation General Revision of Rates, Effective July 1, 2018

On March 23, 2018, the Workers’ Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau of Massachusetts (WCRIBMA) published Circular Letter No. 2328, notifying all members and subscribers of the WCRIBMA (i.e. any business with MA payroll, subject to MA Workers’ Compensation laws) of a general revision of rates, and other changes to the MA Workers’ Compensation system. On average across all classification codes, there will be a rate level decrease of 12.9%; specific rate changes will vary by classification.  In addition to changes to MA rates, other changes will be as follows:

  • Revised scope of certain classification codes;
  • Changes to the MA Experience Rating Plan, which could ultimately impact Experience Modification Rating (EMR) factors;
  • Retrospective Rating Plan changes;
  • F-Classes – Overall rate level decrease of 13.3%;
  • Certain changes pertaining to U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act coverage;
  • Revision of small deductible credit program.

The biggest “takeaway” from these changes are (1) rates are decreasing, which is good news, and (2) the way that Experience Modification Rating (EMR) factors are calculated is changing, which will impact companies’ Experience Rating upward or downward depending on factors specific to each individual policyholder.  Keep in mind, both rates and Experience Rating impact final Workers’ Compensation pricing. For additional details, please see the following link for the Workers’ Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau (WCRIB) Circular Letter: Link to Circular Letter.

Please note that this change impacts only businesses that have payroll and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; other states Workers’ Compensation systems have not been impacted by this change.  Please note that only policies that go into effect after 7/1/18 are impacted by this change – these changes are not enacted “midterm” on existing Workers’ Compensation policies.

For additional questions regarding your Workers’ Compensation policy and how the rates will affect your premiums, or any insurance-related matter, please contact NorthStar Insurance Services at 781-431-2500 or