On January 1, 2014, there will be a lot of financial changes going into effect, and they’re not all pertinent to the Affordable Care Act. New Jersey’s Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau recently released an announcement regarding the state’s workers’ compensation average rate increase for 2014. The New Jersey Banking and Insurance Commissioner, Kenneth Kobylowski, approved a 3.6% increase that will be applied to the rates and rating values of New Jersey workers’ comp and employer liability insurance policies. The increase will occur on a new and renewal basis after January 1.
In addition to the increase in insurance rates, the bureau is also raising the maximum weekly benefit for employees who have suffered any kind of injury. Employees who have suffered any injuries other than permanent partial disabilities are currently entitled to a maximum benefit of $826 per week, but come January 1, 2014, that will be raised to $843. Those who have been deemed permanently partially disabled due to a workplace injury current receive a maximum benefit ranging from $220 to $826 (which varies depending on the duration of the disability), will be entitled to a maximum benefit ranging between $225-843.
The minimum weekly benefit for all injuries other than permanent partial disabilities will be raised from $220 to $225. The minimum weekly benefit for permanent partial disabilities will not increase, and will stay at $35. Due to the increase in benefits to injured employees, the premium levels of workers’ compensation insurance policies will be raised 0.7%.
In addition to the benefit awards and insurance rates being increased, New Jersey is also putting a law into play that will mandate the application of an additional policyholder surcharge that will support the Second Injury Fund. This surcharge will also be applied to the new premiums that are going into effect on a new and renewal basis, and will be at a rate of 6.56%. This surcharge was determined by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s estimate of 2014 Fund requirements.