Thursday, January 05, 2012

Study: Effect of Aging Workforce on Workers' Compensation Claims

The National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. (NCCI) has released a report examining the potential adverse impact on workers' compensation loss costs as baby boomers postpone retirement and accelerate the aging of the workforce. The paper--"
Workers Compensation and the Aging Workforce"
authored by Tanya Restrepo and Harry Shuford--confirms that the share of older workers is increasing but finds, among other things:
  • in terms of loss costs per worker, the major difference among age groups occurs between the 25 to 34 and the 35 to 44 age groups, while all groups of workers age 35 to 64 appear to have similar costs per worker;
  • the long-standing tenet that younger workers have much higher injury rates is no longer true, so that differences in loss costs by age in recent years primarily reflect differences in severities since differences in frequency by age have virtually disappeared;
  • differences in leading types of injuries are a major factor in differences in severity by age, with older workers tending to have more rotator cuff and knee injuries while younger workers have more back and ankle sprains;
  • on the indemnity side, higher wages are a key factor leading to higher costs for older workers;and
  • for medical, more treatments per claim are a material factor.
Source: National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. Research & Outlook (January 4, 2012)

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