National Underwriter - Workers‘ compensation costs for employers grew at a faster percentage than wages did in 2001, mostly because the economic downturn discouraged rapid salary increases, according to a new study.
The report, released today by the National Academy of Social Insurance, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research group, also pointed out that the continuing economic volatility has resulted in the slowest growth in U.S. wages in more than a decade.
According to these research findings, this is the first time that workers‘ comp benefit levels rose at a faster percentage than wages since 1992. It was also the first time since 1993 that employers‘ costs for workers‘ comp grew faster than wages.
In 2001, overall wages grew by 2.4 percent, the study found.
National Underwriter - Florida‘s per-claim workers‘ compensation costs for all paid claims came out to be higher than most states analyzed and are growing at a double-digit rate, according to a new study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based nonprofit research group found in its study that a workers‘ comp claim in Florida cost an average of $3,081 for 1999 claims evaluated in mid-2000.
This average figure for Florida was some 18 percent higher than the median of the 11 large states also examined in the study. Other states included in the WCRI study were: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
Insurance Journal - California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi commended lawmakers July 9 for moving workers‘ compensation bills into a Legislative Conference Committee, and consequently moving the reform of the system closer to passage.
The Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and the Assembly Insurance Committee forwarded all workers‘ comp bills, including those contained in the Garamendi Reform Plan, to the conference committee, which will convene later in this session.
"This is a good move for this much needed legislation," Garamendi said. "The conference committee allows legislators to combine good ideas from all of the bills into legislation that will bring substantial, immediate reform to this ailing system."
Garamendi has worked with the legislature since taking office in January to bring about reform of the $29 billion system.
Insurance Journal - The study of 12 states, representing 50 percent of the nation‘s workers‘ compensation benefits paid, reported that higher payments for the medical care of injured workers and a larger proportion of claims with more than seven days of time away from the job were key reasons why costs per claim in Illinois ranked higher than other states.
Workers‘ compensation costs per claim in Illinois also continued to grow rapidly, increasing 10 percent between 1998 and1999 (evaluated as of mid-2000), at about the same rate than the 11 percent growth experienced between 1997 and 1998, according to the Cambridge, Mass.-based WCRI.