Workers Compensation Benefits Rise As Economy Improves

Workers Compensation Benefits Rise As Economy Improves

Workers Compensation Benefits Rise As Economy Improves

According to a new report from the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance, total Workers Compensation benefits rose by 3.5% to $60.2 billion in 2011. What’s more, the total costs to employers rose by 7.1% percent to $77.1 billion – the first increase in costs since 2005. The number of workers covered by Workers Compensation in 2011 was 1.1% higher than in 2010 and total covered wages were 3.9% higher.

The increase in benefits includes a 4.5% rise in medical care spending to $29.9 billion and a 2.6% rise in wage replacement (cash) benefits to $30.3 billion, according to the NASI.

At the state level, the new report found coverage and wages increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Total benefits paid to injured workers increased in 29 jurisdictions, with benefits as a percent of total wages increasing in 17.

The largest percentage increases in benefits occurred in Virginia (12.5%), Iowa (12.2%) and New York (10.7%). The largest percentage decreases in benefits occurred in Nevada (-11.3%), Oregon (-10.1%) and New Hampshire (-9.6%).

Moreover, between 2010 and 2011, employers’ costs of Workers Compensation per $100 of covered payroll increased in 35 jurisdictions, and declined in sixteen. The largest increases were in Wisconsin (14 cents), Wyoming (14 cents), Iowa and Washington (13 cents). Some of the largest decreases were in West Virginia, Montana, and Ohio.

The increase in Workers Compensation costs and coverage reflects, at least in part, the U.S. economy on its way to recovery with slow but positive employment and wage growth. The data released is from the 16th annual report the NASI has issued on workers’ compensation benefits, coverage, and costs.

Caitlin-Morgan specializes in providing Workers Compensation solutions, including offer large-deductible programs, self-insurance programs and captive programs. We also have access to multiple A-rate carriers to find a home for your clients.  Please give us a call at 877.226.1027 to find out more about our programs.