Cambridge, MA, April 8, 2021 – A new series of studies, CompScope™ Benchmarks, 21st Edition, from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) provides in-depth analysis of costs per claim and other performance metrics across 18 state workers’ compensation systems for claims with experience through March 2020 for injuries up to and including 2019.
“The CompScope™ studies can help policymakers and other stakeholders identify current cost drivers and emerging trends in a wide variety of workers’ compensation system components,” said Ramona Tanabe, executive vice president and counsel of WCRI. “The studies include experience on claims through March 2020, at the very beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so they are a good baseline for evaluating the impact of the virus on workers’ compensation claims.”
The 18 states in the study are Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. There are individual reports for every state except Arkansas, Iowa, and Tennessee. The state studies explore the time from injury to first indemnity payment, the average total cost per claim, the average payment per claim for medical care, and the average payment per claim for indemnity benefits, as well as how state results may reflect system features and processes.
The following are sample findings for some of the study states:
- California: Total costs per claim with more than seven days of lost time in California have been mostly stable since 2010. In 2019, the most recent year in the study period, total costs per claim increased 4 percent, which was largely driven by a 6 percent increase in indemnity benefits per claim.
- Florida: From 2014 to 2018, total costs per claim with more than seven days of lost time in Florida had been growing moderately at 4 percent per year at all claim maturities. In 2019/2020, this measure increased 8 percent, driven by faster growth in indemnity benefits and medical payments per claim in the latest 12-month valuation. Growth in costs per claim in Florida since 2014 was faster than in most states.
- Georgia: Total costs per claim with more than seven days of lost time have remained fairly stable in Georgia since 2008 and were higher compared with other study states. Higher indemnity benefits per claim and litigation expenses per claim in Georgia were the main drivers of the higher-than-typical total costs per claim.
- Illinois: Total costs per claim with more than seven days of lost time in Illinois have grown between 1 and 3 percent per year since 2012, based on claims with 12–48 months of maturity. This growth reflects small increases in medical payments per claim, indemnity benefits per claim, and benefit delivery expenses per claim.
- Indiana: Total costs per claim in Indiana increased 3 percent per year from 2014 to 2019 for claims with more than seven days of lost time at 12 months of experience. Those results, however, mask underlying changes from 2014 to 2016 in the key cost components—medical, indemnity, and benefit delivery expenses (expenses for managing medical costs and litigation expenses allocated to claims)—related to provisions of House Enrolled Act 1320.
For more information on these studies, visit https://www.wcrinet.org/compscope-benchmarks-21st-edition.
The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Organized in late 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches; rather, it provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods. Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. WCRI's diverse membership includes employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.