Larger Health Insurance Deductibles Cause Employees To Use Workers Comp
The health insurance deductibles have been raised over the past few years. One reason could be the Obamacare Federal and State Insurance Exchange insurance carriers wish to negate the effect of having to insure all-comers with pre-existing conditions.
A recent study by WCRI (Workers Compensation Research Institute) showed that higher health insurance deductibles led to case shifting. WCRI has covered case shifting before in various studies and their annual conference.
Case shifting occurs when an injured employee looks to lessen their risk by shifting an injury from one line of insurance (usually health) to workers compensation.
The recent study results from WCRI on health insurance deductibles and case shifting recent press release covered a few salient points.
The following is a sample of the study’s major findings:>>>my comments in italics
- Workers with a higher remaining group health deductible at the time of injury are more likely to file under workers’ compensation than under group health insurance.>>>This should be seen as not really a surprise.
- Injured workers are about 1.4 percentage points more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim when they have a remaining deductible of $550 (the average) compared with a zero deductible at the time of injury, amounting to a 5.3 percent increase in the workers’ compensation claim volume.>>>A deductible of $550 seems low nowadays
- The increase in propensity to file for workers’ compensation coverage in response to higher deductibles is even greater for injured workers with soft tissue conditions.>>>This is a very interesting finding.
- The increase in filing for workers’ compensation coverage is concentrated in states where employees can choose their initial provider. This may reflect the ability within workers’ compensation of workers to remain with their group health doctor in these states.>>>This makes sense. I totally agree with that assessment.
The study also estimated the increase in workers’ compensation volume from the growth in high deductible group health policies. The increase partially offsets the overall decline in workers’ compensation claims seen over the past decade.
You can found out more information on the study and purchase a copy here. A video from one of the authors explaining the study further is also included on the page.
©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice