Voluntary pay rates drop again in South Carolina; Risk multiplier assigned to increase

Workers’ compensation insurance rates for the voluntary market will drop next year in South Carolina, but the loss cost multiplier for the assigned risk sector will rise again, thanks to another year of excessive losses, the State Department of Insurance announced.

For industrial classifications in the residual market, the department this week ordered an increase in the loss cost multiplier, from 2.684 to 3.326, for 2022, department manager Ray Farmer said in a bulletin. The change is in line with the October letter from the National Compensation Insurance Board which cited excessive losses for the assigned risk plan for the second year in a row.

“I hereby conclude that corrective action is necessary to ensure that the assigned risk plan is self-funded and that rates are maintained at an adequate level,” Farmer wrote.

The new multiplier is expected to be applied to the voluntary costs of market losses, effective February 1. The minimum premium for assigned risks will drop from $ 1,500 to $ 1,000, the department said.

For the voluntary market, the NCCI recommended in October an average drop of 9.8% in claims costs. The ministry approved this on December 15 and announced it on Tuesday. The effective date is February 1, and all workers’ compensation insurers have until February 13 to submit an electronic rate and form filing system, or SERFF filing, adopting loss costs. The effective date is expected to be no later than June 1, the DOI noted.

The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Board also announced changes to its Medical Service Provider Handbook, which includes a new fee schedule analysis, summary of changes, and anesthesia conversion factors.

The fee schedule analysis, performed by FAIR Health and based on 2020 data from the NCCI, shows a neutral conversion factor. Most services will not see an increase from 2021 reimbursement levels. The analysis can be viewed here.

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