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Workers Comp Medical Costs – The Past Says No Big Increases

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Workers Comp Medical Costs Still Very Stable – Good for the Market

Workers Comp medical costs have been watched and analyzed by different groups such as NCCI, WCIRB, and WCRI. Workers Comp Medical Prices are usually the driver for Workers Comp costs overall. Workers Comp medical costs are likely going to increase over the next five years in very small increments.  Let us look at the past to predict the future.

Will medical costs cause the pricing to change in the future? In my last article, the subject of medical pricing showed that Workers Comp price spikes did not occur as severely as many of the P&C lines.  A decade of suppressed pricing was shown in one simple chart.

WCRI Analysis

WCRI publishes a free Workers Comp Medical Price Index yearly – in May.  You can obtain your own 2023 Medical Cost Index here. 

It is one of the great analysis freebies that you can download by giving them your basic info.  WCRI will not spam you with a load of emails. This chart which looks very busy can be a great tool to see where medical costs have been and where they are going over the next few years.

workers comp medical costs WCRI chart
(c) WCRI – Cambridge, MA

The above chart is an index of Workers Comp medical costs since 2008.  Notice how over the last 15 years many of the states’ medical costs have stayed near the 2008 index.  The chart covers only professional services.  I will not go into how the Fee Schedules are better compared to non-fee schedule states today.  I was only looking at the overall workers comp medical cost increases.

I mentioned in the medical price analysis during the 2023 NCCI Annual Insights Symposium (AIS) articles that workers compensation medical costs have not followed normal inflationary pressures.  Will that change?  Looking at the above chart, I would say that small increases are expected in the future.

NCCI will cover this again at the NCCI AIS next month.  I will write a live article next month when I attend the 2024 NCCI AIS Conference.

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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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