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Workers’ Comp Premiums and Drug Testing

Medical costs and insurance premiums are on the rise. Oregon has recently announced that it will be raising base workers’ compensation premiums from 2.8 cents to 3.3 cents per hour (the amount required before an insurance provider’s expenses and profits are added). This trend holds true in other states. After a dip in California, rates have been on the rise for the past few years. While not all states are experiencing an increase in workers’ comp rates, it may be beneficial for employers to be up-to-date on voluntary state drug testing laws that provide premium discounts. Some state laws provide a fixed discount like 5%, while others provide a rolling discount ranging from 4% to 7.5%. As of January 2013, 11 states have voluntary drug testing laws that apply to non-industry specific employers. Some of these states have created criteria that insurers must observe, while others have left it up to insurance providers to determine and enforce criteria. It may be advantageous for employers to know all they can about these voluntary state drug testing laws that offer premium discounts. A carefully constructed drug testing policy can prove not only a valuable resource but also a great way to save money. Employers are encouraged to consult each state’s law to ensure compliance.

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