Hearings on proposed increases to workers' compensation premiums will be held Jan. 4 in Tacoma and Spokane.
The premiums could go up by an average 12 percent next year under a proposal Monday from the state Department of Labor and Industries. Average premiums would increase 6.5 cents per hour worked, the agency said.
The new rates take effect Jan. 1 under an emergency rule that is effective for 120 days, L&I said.
An individual employer’s rate depends on its claims history and industry.
L&I postponed announcing its 2011 proposed rate increase because of Initiative 1082, which would have opened the state workers’ compensation system to private insurers and shifted some costs to employers.
Voters rejected I-1082 in last week’s elections.
L&I raised average rates 3.2 percent in 2008, 3.1 percent in 2009 and 7.6 percent this year. Next year’s proposed rate increase was expected to be in the double digits. Among the reasons: steep declines in premiums collected and investment income, as well as higher medical costs and injured workers staying on benefits longer due to the lack of available jobs.