AWC Blog

The Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Workers’ Compensation

Between millions of people becoming insured and the prevalence of higher deductible plans thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is concern in the business world that the ACA will have a negative impact on workers’ compensation – and that maybe it already has. Employers should not have to pay higher costs in their workers’ comp policies because employees delay returning to work or file fraudulent claims. Understanding the impact of the ACA and what to watch out for will help you control your workers’ comp coverage. Delayed Return to Work In the short time that the ACA has been in effect, more than 16 million previously uninsured people have joined the ranks of the insured, leaving many to wonder if there would be a shortage of access to care. In the world of workers’ compensation insurance, many wondered if this would increase the amount of time it would take for employees to receive treatment, keeping them out of […]

Is Self-Insurance Right For You?

For larger companies in most states across the country, workers’ compensation comes with two choices: traditional insurance or self-insurance. Knowing which to choose can be difficult and you should consider much more than the bottom line cost difference between the two when deciding what to do. If your company meets the requirements, self-insuring may allow you to reduce costs while providing protection for you, your business, and your employees. What is Self-Insurance? When a company self-insures as an alternative to traditional workers’ compensation insurance, they are not relieved of the legal responsibilities of paying medical expenses and lost wages for their employees who become injured or ill while on the job. Instead of paying premiums to an insurance company who handles the claims process, the company uses funds set aside specifically for workers’ compensation claims, while overseeing the claims process internally. There are some very clear advantages to self-insurance: Reduced costs Fewer claims due to more incentive to prevent accidents […]

Create a Wellness Program to Reduce Workers Comp Costs

Healthier employees are happier and more productive, have higher morale, and experience fewer accidents on the job than those who are unhealthy. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by happy, healthy employees? Businesses who create employee wellness programs can experience all of the benefits that healthier employees offer. What is an Employee Wellness Program? Employee Wellness Programs (EWPs) are clearly defined and organized policies and activities put together by employers to promote better health and well-being for your employees. The goal is to give employees information about their health they may not have and enable them to make good choices to increase their own health and safety. The best kind of EWP equips both the employee and the employer with good information on employee’s individual lifestyle risks. This is done as a three-step process. Health Risk Assessments are questionnaires given to employees to determine their individual health risks. Biometric testing is done to check blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and BMI. […]

Workers’ Comp is Never “Off the Clock”

Knowing when your employees are covered by your workers’ compensation insurance policy and when they are not should be pretty simple. When they’re on the job or doing something within the scope of their employment, benefits apply. Employees who aren’t on the clock shouldn’t receive benefits if they’re injured. What sounds simple really isn’t. There are plenty of exceptions to the “off the clock” rule, and if your employee is injured even when they’re not clocked in and on the job, you could still be liable. When Workers’ compensation Benefits Apply Most states follow a simple rule for applying workers’ comp benefits that says “while in the course of employment,” if an employee is injured, their medical costs and lost wages will be covered. This rule means that, regardless of the physical location or the time of day, if an employee is performing an assigned job duty, their injury is covered under your workers’ compensation insurance policy. What is excluded […]

4 Reasons Your Workers’ Comp Experience Mod Went Up

In reviewing your most recent workers’ compensation paperwork, you notice something out of place. Your experience mod went up – again. This means higher premiums and more money you have to spend. There are a number of things that can lead to an increased ex mod. Take a look at few common reasons you should know about so you can understand exactly what you’re being charged for and why. Split Point Increase The split point of the losses from your workers’ comp claims increased in 2013, 2014, and 2015, most recently to $15,000 with a two year inflation adjustment. This is the first increase in 20 years while the average cost of claims have tripled in the same time frame. Claims that cost more than the split point have a greater impact on your experience mod. At the same time, employers with few or no claims greater than the split point may even see a reduction. Expected Loss Changes Expected […]

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