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Short-Term Workers Compensation Available to
Washington Horse Racing Industry

In a cooperative effort, the WHRC, Washington HBPA, and Department of Labor and Industries have made it possible to amend Washington Administrative Code to allow trainers to obtain 30-day coverage for WHRC licensed employees.

The WHRC administers the Washington Horse Racing L&I account and collects premiums that are set on an annual rate basis. Trainers currently must pay the same rate if their employees work one month or 12. The rule change will allow short-term coverage to be set at one-third the rate for the initial year. If a trainer chooses to stay another month (for another one-third payment), he or she can extend the coverage. Once three payments of one-third are made, the person has paid for an entire year, so they are allowed to remain in the state throughout the season with coverage for his or her employees.

As claims managers for the HRI Workers Compensation account, the Washington HBPA has collected and provided data to the staff at Labor and Industries in efforts to lower the rate for one month, but at “press time” the rate remains at one-third of the annual rate for one month’s coverage.  Hopefully, this will encourage some out-of-state trainers to bring some horses north to Emerald Downs for some part of our season.

The Washington HBPA board of directors and staff wish to acknowledge the WHRC and its staff for their help with the rule change. The Commission acted promptly and took the necessary steps to implement the rule on an emergency basis. Labor and Industries has moved a little slower, but they are very careful with the pool and the risk ratings, so we do understand their pace is not going to be in keeping with that of our Commission or our desires.

For more information on Washington Workers Compensation for the horse racing industry, please contact the Washington HBPA office.

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