New Assessment Methodology
Frequently Asked Questions – Insurance Carriers
- What Board assessments does the new process replace? The new process replaces the quarterly administrative assessments under WCL § 151, A60, F60, and 228; the quarterly assessments that support interdepartmental programs at the Departments of Labor and Health (IDP); and the annual assessments of the Special Disability Fund (WCL §15-8), Fund for Reopened Cases (WCL §25A) and Special Fund for Disability Benefits (WCL §214).
- Will I still receive invoices or bills from the Board? For the assessments noted above, the Board will not be sending invoices. Every carrier will complete a report that calculates the amount of assessment due and return that on a quarterly basis with payment.
- Will I still receive invoices or bills from the Special Funds Conservation Committee? Effective with the January 2014 rate year, the administrative costs of the Special Funds Conservation Committee (SFCC) will be included in the assessment rate published by the Workers’ Compensation Board annually. The SFCC will not be issuing their own invoices as they have done in the past.
- What is the annual assessment rate based on? In accordance with Title 12 NYCRR Part 500 that governs the assessment process, the assessment rate will be determined by dividing the total estimated annual expenses of the Board (including administrative and special fund costs) by an assessment base of total estimated statewide premium.
- Where do I find the assessment rate? On or before November 1 of every year the Board will determine the assessment rate to be effective January 1 of the following calendar year. The assessment rate will be published in the form of a subject number and can be found on the Board’s website.
- What is “estimated statewide premium”? For employers covered by an insurance policy from a carrier or the State Insurance Fund standard premium is defined as the full annual value of direct written premiums booked. For private self-insured employers, a standard premium equivalent will be determined. Estimated statewide premium equals the premium related to carrier and State Insurance Fund policies and the standard premium equivalent for all self-insurers.
- Does the assessment apply to federal premium, volunteer firefighters’ premium, volunteer ambulance workers’ premium or expense constant? No.
- Does the assessment rate apply to Premium Discounts; Deductible Program Adjustments; Large Risk Rating or Alternative Rating Option Premium; and Retrospective Rating Adjustment Premium? The assessment rate should be applied to a base of full annual premium as it is written/booked. All premium discounts, deductible program adjustments, large risk rating or alternative rating options and retrospective rating adjustments are subject to the assessment in the year the policy is booked. For example, if written premium for a particular policy is $1 million but that is net of a $200,000 premium discount, the assessment rate should be applied to the full premium level of $1.2 million.
- What is the purpose of the adjustments to written premium shown on the carrier remittance form? The intent of the various adjustments shown on the carrier remittance form is to ensure that all employers are paying a proportionate share of assessments based upon the type of payroll covered regardless of the specific type of policies obtained. For example, two employers with identical amounts and types of payroll (by classification) should be paying the same amount for assessments, at the same time, even if one has a standard policy and the other has a large deductible or retrospectively rated policy.
- What type of premium is reported in Column (10) Other Type of Premium on the carrier remittance form? As described above, the intent of the various adjustments shown on the carrier remittance form is to ensure that all employers are paying a proportionate share of assessments based upon the type of payroll covered regardless of the specific type of policy obtained. Column (10) is included to provide carriers a place to report any other type of adjustment needed and not included in previous columns, to fulfill that intent.
- Is the assessment rate applied to written or earned premium? The assessment rate is applied to premium as it is written or booked not as it is earned.
- When will carriers be required to submit reports and payment for these assessments?
Reports and payments will be filed quarterly in accordance with the following schedule:
Period Payroll Form and Payment Due Q1 Premium written for policies effective January 1 – March 31 Postmarked no later than April 30 Q2 Premium written for policies effective April 1 – June 30 Postmarked no later than July 31 Q3 Premium written for policies effective July 1 – September 30 Postmarked no later than October 31 Q4 Premium written for policies effective October 1 – December 31 Postmarked no later than January 31
- Is there a penalty for failure to report or pay the assessment by the due date? Yes. If a carrier underpays an assessment as a result of inaccurate reporting the carrier must pay the full amount of the underpaid assessment along with interest at the rate of 9% per annum. Further, if it is determined that the payer knew or should have known that the reported information was inaccurate an additional penalty of up to 20% may be imposed.
- Can an employer cancel and renew their workers’ compensation policy to take advantage of a lower assessment rate? There is nothing in the Rules and Regulations governing the assessment process that explicitly prohibits the early cancelation of a workers’ compensation policy. However, it should be noted that there may be policy and/or carrier specific prohibitions, fees or penalties that apply for early cancellation which may negate any assessment “savings”. In addition, such cancellations will not be considered an acceptable reason for any period of non-compliance which may result from early policy termination and gaps in coverage which may result.
Questions may be sent to: WCBFinanceOffice@wcb.ny.gov