Back in April, James Moore was kind enough to re-post one of my earlier blog articles on his blog, so I am returning the favor.
James writes a lot about workers’ comp and how to cut costs, so his insights into such things as the Supreme Court’s much anticipated decision on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) future, and how it may impact workers’ comp claims, is something that the medical travel industry needs to know about.
There are no doubt, many opinions on what the Court’s decision may mean for the viability of the health care law, the subsidies that the government has granted to those who cannot afford to pay for all or part of the premiums, as well as the future of health care in the US in general.
And there are just as many opinions on what impact, if any, this momentous decision will have on workers’ comp, because the issue of cost-shifting.
Should the Court find for the government in King v Burwell, then there will be very little impact on workers’ comp, as those who currently have coverage under the ACA will continue to receive insurance. But should the Court decide for the plaintiff, King, millions will lose that coverage, and many will try to get covered under work comp.
It is James’ view, that should the Court decide for the plaintiff, workers’ comp claims departments might get more traffic than they can handle in the coming summer months. So, it is imperative for anyone touting the benefits of medical travel to be aware that you can offer an alternative and a release valve to the workers’ comp industry, should James’ prediction come true.
Yet, House Republicans, as reported today in the New York Times, are worried about what might happen to them, should they prevail in the Court.
So James’ article is both timely and relevant to the purpose of this blog, to implement medical travel into workers’ comp in order to better serve the injured worker and his or her employer. The Court’s decision has, as James will point out in the article below, unintended consequences.
James’ byline appears at the end of his article.
ACA Subsidy Decision Could Affect Workers Comp
The US Supreme Court ACA decision could easily affect Workers Comp. Let us call it the old Law of Unintended Consequences.
There are multiple articles on this blog concerning the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and its possible effect on WC.
For reference some of the articles are:
- Oklahoma’s Workers Comp Opt Out Program May Be Trumped By Obamacare
- Five Ways ObamaCare and Workers Comp Are Similar
- Obamacare And Its Effect On Workers Compensation
Would the Workers Compensation industry actually see a spike in claims if the Supreme Court guts the ACA? My answer would be an unequivocal – Yes.
I have always felt since working my way through the WC claims hierarchy that people are going to look under every stone to find some type of insurance coverage.
A possible scenario in this case would be that all of a sudden someone cannot renew their ACA-sponsored policy. Who could blame that person for attempting to file a WC claim to receive treatment for an injury that was originally treated under a health insurance policy? Desperate people do desperate things.
This is not to say these types of claims would ever be accepted by a WC claims department. However, if the claim is reported, the requirement of a full investigation will still use up a large amount of time for a claims department.
The states and the Feds have all said they will bring in measures to keep health insurance alive for ACA policies.
However, would there not likely be a haircut of people covered as the health insurance carriers would only have to look at the Law of Large Numbers to see that a smaller group of health plan participants would prevent the risk being spread among a large enough group.
I am not advocating for or against the ACA. Numbers do not lie, unless you look at the wrong numbers.
One only has to look to the opinion proffered by Dr. Richard Victor- the outgoing Director of WCRI. He presented a very interesting slant on how WC and the Affordable Healthcare Act would collide with each other.
The US Supreme Court ACA decision is likely days or weeks away. In the words of Bananarama, it could be a “Cruel, Cruel Summer” if you work in a WC claims department.
By James J. Moore, J & L Risk Management Consultants
James’ blog can be found here at J & L Risk Management Consultants.
I am willing to work with any broker, carrier, or employer interested in saving money on expensive surgeries, and to provide the best care for their injured workers or their client’s employees.
Call me for more information, next steps, or connection strategies at (561) 738-0458 or (561) 603-1685, cell. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask me any questions you may have on how to save money on expensive surgeries under workers’ comp.