Debit Cards Payments Money Management By Injured Employee
Having debit cards for WC payments seems like a good idea.
I will be traveling to the Workers Compensation Conference in Las Vegas next week. I usually attend a national conference every 5- 7 years. My last conference attendance was the RIMS conference in Orlando.
One of the main reasons I go is to see the new ideas and companies in the vendor showrooms. One of the more interesting ones to me is actually a debit card that can be loaded with an injured employee’s Workers Comp weekly or biweekly benefit payment. The company can be found here.
I think this is a great idea as the injured employees do not have to wait for a check to make its way through the mail. There are certain carriers that mail checks across the nation as the checks are printed in one central location.
As many Workers Comp adjusters will tell you, the amount of time they spend on the phone with someone that did not receive a check timely can take up to a day of their time per week. I just checked with the online US Postal System postage and delivery calculator. It seems that the postal system can get a check mailed First Class across the US in 3 days. That would seem to be somewhat inaccurate.
Loading up a debit card is a great idea for delivery of benefits. The administration of this type of program would seem to be a reduction in costs for carriers and TPA’s. A CPA had said that when all factors are totaled, checks cost approximately an additional $40 in costs including labor. I thought that was high until I realized that so many insurance company or TPA personnel have to input and account for the payment.
The one major drawback I see is the ability of the injured worker to properly budget their funds. As we all know, when the monetary idea of money is taken away and replaced with plastic, the idea to overspend is great.
Some types of creditors (such as mortgage, credit card, and tax collectors) charge a fee to use a debit card to make a payment. Is it actually fair to the injured employee if they are required to pay fees? I would think that carriers and TPA’s would let the injured employee choose a regular mailed check or the debit card.
I will be asking them these exact questions next week. I will also report on anything that I see of value from the vendors. I mainly search for cutting edge products and services and not just a new marketing term for the same old services.
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