Reduction in Benefits Not Lessening Work Comp Cost Increases for Employers

Workers’ comp benefits as a share of payroll were lower in 2013 than in any other period, as reported today in Business Insurance by Gloria Gonzalez.

According to Ms. Gonzalez, employer costs for workers’ comp continues to rise, and benefits per $100 of covered payroll fell to 98 cents in 2013, which represents a 5% drop from 2009.

A growing, post-recession workforce has resulted in employer costs rising to $1.37 per $100 of covered payroll, a 5% increase from 2009.

Total workers’ comp benefits in 2013 were $63.6 billion, while employer costs were $88.5 billion.

John Burton, professor emeritus for Rutgers and Cornell universities said in a statement reported in the article, that “the decline [benefits as a percentage of payroll declined in 39 states between 2009 and 2013] is due to a drop in workplace injuries as well as changes in many state laws that made it more difficult for workers to qualify for benefits”.

Medical benefits account for a greater share of total workers’ comp benefits, Ms. Gonzalez wrote, due to rising health care costs, with these benefits at a 50% share in 2013 compared to 29% in 2009.

Costs for employers insured through private carriers constituted $54.9 billion, or 62.1% of total costs, while self-insured employers accounted for 17.3 billion, or 13.3%, while costs to the federal government were $4.5 billion, or 5.1%.

The greatest increases in employer costs in the 2009-2013 period were in New York and California. The biggest decrease was in West Virginia.

So, despite all the changes and challenges facing workers’ comp, the cost for employers is still rising, and the industry continues to do the same things over and over again, in the vain hope that next time the costs will come down. That maybe happening for some employers, somewhere in the country, but as Ms. Gonzalez states in her article, the opposite is happening.

I’ll say it again: It’s your choice. Keep doing the same old, same old, or think outside the box and outside the border. You are only wasting more money not doing so.


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:

Ask me any questions you may have on how to save money on expensive surgeries under workers’ comp.

Connect with me on LinkedIn, check out my website, FutureComp Consulting, and follow my blog at: Share this article, or leave a comment below.


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