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Will Feds Control Workers Comp In Future or Just States?


Will The Feds Control Workers Comp In 10 Years?

In the future,  will the  Feds control Workers Comp. In my last post, I commented on how the Federal Government, namely CMS, is encroaching on the state-by-state sovereignty of Workers Compensation. The CMS is overvaluing Workers Compensation pharmacy benefits.

Picture Of Woman Pharmacy Feds Control Workers Comp with Medicine Background

The response to this intrusion is for the employers and their insurance carriers/TPAs to not settle the medical indemnity on claims where the CMS has jurisdiction. I was not shocked to see this development as I have noticed small but important power grabs by the federal government.

One of the most recent cases where the Feds seem to be overreaching is the decision by OSHA to subpoena the Workers Comp records from an insurance carrier. Two teenage males were killed in an incident in IL. The complicating factor was one of them was 14.

OSHA decided to subpoena the inspection records, and in fact, all records from their insurance company. The insurer, Grinnell Mutual, fought the subpoena as having a federal agency with access to an insurance company’s safety inspections may have a highly negative effect on employers requesting safety inspections by their insurance carrier. OSHA has been granted access to all of the insurer’s records including communications between Grinnell Mutual and the employer.


Picture Of Male Doctor Feds Control Workers Comp With Green Background

The following is a quote from Dr. David Michaels – OSHA administrator – “The court affirmed OSHA’s authority to obtain relevant information from an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. This is not surprising legally, but it does illustrate that workers’ compensation and OSHA are not separate worlds divorced from each other.”  

I do agree that there are extenuating circumstances. However, this may result in employers not being compliant with safety inspections by their carriers. As OSHA cannot inspect all employers, would this not have a negative effect on safety?

I have written often on the federal government’s increasing interest in Workers Compensation.

This is a quick list of the articles I have written on the states’ Workers Compensation systems being encroached on by federal agencies:

There are other articles in this blog on the Federalization of Workers Compensation. The three above are a random sample. You can search the word – federalization – using the search box on the right side of the page to find more articles on this subject.

If the Feds control Workers Comp in the future, additional forms for every aspect will be required at every step. m

I have received many questions on what are the minimum thresholds for having to obtain CMS approval to settle a file. I will cover that next time.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management 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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