Business Insurance reported today that workers’ compensation costs paid by employers rose 6.9% to $83.2 billion year-over-year in 2012, driven largely by an increase in worker numbers and earnings, according to a report by the National Academy of Social Insurance.
There was a modest increase in workers’ compensation benefits from 2011 to 2012, with an increase in medical benefits of 0.9% to $30.8 billion.
The report said that wages eligible for workers comp coverage increased 4.3% to $6.3 trillion in 2012 from 2011, and the number of covered workers increased 1.6% to 127.9 million in 2012.
If you consider how much of these rising costs are due to employer, physicians, service providers, and carrier fraud, abuse and waste, and not because of any alleged fraud by claimants, which is miniscule by comparison, and if you factor in how much workers’ comp is being ripped off by paying for surgeries that are more expensive under comp than under general health care, you can then appreciate why saving money by having the surgeries performed in lower cost, better quality facilities abroad makes sense, both logically and dollar-wise.
But if people insist on doing things over and over again the same way and expecting different results, that is crazy. But those who say the law won’t allow it, should be reminded of what Mr. Bumble said in Oliver Twist, “If that is the law, sir, then the law is an ass. If that is the law, then the law is a batchelor.”
Aged statutes and old case law should not stand in the way of lowering the costs for employers, provided the employers are not part of the problem in the first place. Things are happening that will make changes in workers’ comp, and hopefully they will be for the better for all concerned parties, and not just the employers, physicians, service providers and carriers.
Have a good Labor Day weekend everyone, and remember, workers’ comp is for the workers, not the bosses.