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ObamaComp 24 Hour Coverage – Are We That Far Away From It?

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ObamaComp – The New 24 Hour Coverage

The ObamaComp health care program are we far from it? Before I start this blog, I wanted to say that there are no political views being expressed here. I am posting only from an analytical viewpoint.

Picture of 24 Hours Clock obamacomp Coverage
Wikimedia Commons – Morio

I decided to coin a new term to save space on blogging about the national health care debate and its impact on Workers Compensation insurance premiums.  Obamacomp 24-hour health care program that covers an individual if they are hurt on or off the job Actually, ObamaComp is the Workers Comp portion of the 24-hour health care program.

Anyone that works in an insurance-based job might want to pay attention to the evolving healthcare situation. If one thinks about it, there would not be much of a leap from nationalized healthcare to 24-hour healthcare.

I have read many articles where the federal government wants to have a nationalized insurance office. There have been many bills introduced over the last 20 years that would initiate a federal insurance office. There was a benefit in most of the bills as agents would be able to write coverage in multiple states.

The formula works like this [National Insurance Office + Nationalized Healthcare + On The Job Injury Care = 24 Hour Healthcare}.

Man Looking obamacomp At Clock
StockUnlimited

I had received many questions on this subject when I posted on it in the past. One of them was “Yes, I see your point on medical coverage, but how would the weekly benefits, and other non-medical compensation benefits be handled? That is a good question. The answer is that the federal government could plug in the AFLAC(R) model as they provide very similar benefits to Workers Compensation.

The bottom line is this may never happen. However, I always think that a company or governmental body that has to make a very small leap to initiate something will likely follow that path.

What would this scenario look like?

The ObamaComp Model Combines Workers Comp and Health Insurances

I thought it would be best to post after talking with a few of my peers and receiving questions when I coined ObamaComp. The scenario could possibly resemble a monopolistic state fund on a much larger scale. As I have mentioned often, I have not and will not politicize this blog. I am only analyzing past, current, and future trends.

Graphic of jurisdiction ObamaComp Model
123RF

If we have a Federal Insurance Office, or for the purposes of this post, a Federal Workers Compensation Office, the amount of reporting would skyrocket. The state jurisdiction would not just fade away. Much like the current tax system, the State and Federal systems would complement each other. Agents would have to file federal and state forms when they write coverage for an employer.

The positive outcome would be that an agent could place Workers Comp coverage nationally and write coverage in different states in addition to the agent’s home state. That would require federal licensing and still require licensing in the agent’s home state. Would this cause an enormous amount of red tape and jurisdictional confusion?

Finger Pointing ObamaComp Digital Medical Icon
StockUnlimited

Policies would be written for 24 hour coverage. How would an agent or insurance company price this model? What would they require an agent and the employer to submit? Would it possibly be all the medical data on each of their employees? Would that violate HIPAA or would it have to be changed to encompass the new Federal Insurance and Workers Compensation office?

Would it feed data back and forth with the Nationalized Health Plan or would the Federal Workers Compensation plan be part of the Nationalized Healthcare Plan? This is already an office in place under the Department of Labor called the OWCP, so there is already a national Workers Comp office but without jurisdiction over the states (yet).

Where would the Workers Compensation carriers figure into the model? I will cover that next time. Once again, I am not for or against anything mentioned in this or other posts about ObamaComp. I just want our readers to recognize and be prepared for changes in the current system.

Workers Compensation Insurance Carriers – Can They Fit The Model?

The Obamacomp effect on the nationalization of Workers Compensation insurance carriers would have to revolve around 24-hour coverage. As I have mentioned in few prior posts, the ObamaComp Model would have three main characteristics:

Graphic of Workers Compensation Insurance Carriers Icons
123RF
  • Center on 24-hour coverage – the leap from nationalized healthcare to 24-hour healthcare is a small one.
  • Workers Comp insurance carriers would have to adopt an AFLAC(R) type of insurance coverage or companies such as AFLAC could team up with or start a Workers Compensation carrier
  • There would be a Federal Insurance Office

Workers Compensation carriers would not look like or operate like they do now. Their actuaries would have to factor in many variables into a very complicated formula to be able to price the model, or would the Federal Insurance Office set the rates? How would the State Rating Bureaus or NCCI function within this type of arrangement? How would Self Insureds function and could companies opt-out of the coverage?

I could write another 100 questions at least on how would 24hour coverage and the nationalization of Workers Comp would function. As I have posted in every one of these blogs on ObamaComp, this is an analysis only, not a political statement. I wanted companies and people to start thinking about how this would affect them.

2020 update –  The political landscape changed with the election of Donald Trump.  Workers’ Compensation insurance will likely be self-regulated as it has been in the past.   In other words, no Obamacomp in the near future.

2021 update – The post-pandemic outlook remains the same for ObamaComp.  Federalization of workers’ comp will not occur in the near future.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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