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Workers Comp Preexisting Conditions – 10 Year Review


Workers Comp Preexisting Conditions Review – Back By Popular Demand

Most claims staff and risk managers have the phrase – aggravation of preexisting conditions etched in their memories.  Workers comp preexisting conditions have been part of the claims process for decades.  In other words, you take them as you get them.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article on the surprising health ranking of the US.   The US was ranked 36th in the world for overall health. We received a few inquiries on the source of the information.  The other main question received was – Did the pandemic have an effect on the health rankings that appeared in my previous article?

2012 health rankings workers comp preexisting conditions
(c) Numbeo – see below link for website info

Please note – I am not saying that workers with workers comp preexisting conditions should not be considered for a job/position.  Oftentimes, disabled or employees with preexisting conditions turn out to be great and dedicated employees.

We take our health condition with us to work every day.  The better our health, the lower the likelihood of having a lost time or medical-only claim, or when one occurs, the severity is not increased by a condition.

10-Year Review of US Health Scores – Better or Worse?

These numbers were provided by Numbeo on this webpage

  • 2023 – 36th
  • 2022 – 33rd
  • 2021 – 30th
  • 2020 – 30th
  • 2019 – 29th
  • 2018 – 30th
  • 2017 – 35th
  • 2016 – 35th
  • 2015 – 41st
  • 2014 – 29th
  • 2013 – 37th
  • 2012 – 40th

As one can see the US health rankings improved during the pandemic. Was that because other countries’ health declined dramatically during the pandemic?  From my research – not necessarily.

The average health ranking for the years above is approximately 34th. In the last article, I wrote on this subject, the US was ranked regionally behind Mexico, Canada, Ecuador, and Argentina.

Conclusions on Workers Comp Preexisting Conditions

Let us wrap things up here.  Workers Comp claim numbers have been decreasing for 20+ years. The severity and length of WC claims have counterbalanced the reduction in the number of claims.

Ranking so low on the overall health indices naturally means that we, as a nation, are increasing the likelihood of a more severe claim with each occurrence.


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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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