Even though there is an increasing number of aging U.S. workers, older employees have shown to exhibit a smaller-than-expected effect on workers compensation loss costs, according to a new report from NCCI Holdings Inc.
NCCI reported on similar average loss costs for all groups of workers ages 35 to 64. Additionally, claim frequency has fallen across the board for all age groups in the last several years as workplaces have in general become safer, according to the rating and research agency.
"These are reassuring findings, in that an aging workforce may have a less negative impact on loss costs per worker than originally thought," NCCI commented.
However, medical and indemnity claim severity for workers ages 45 to 64 was more than 50 percent greater than claim severity for the study’s youngest workers, ages 20 to 34. A large degree of that was due to additional severe injuries among older workers, including sprained rotator cuffs, torn knee cartilage and lumbar displacement.
According to NCCI, claim severity did not vary as widely among workers ages 35 and older. "There is a common belief among many that because of poorer health and longer healing times, medical severity among the oldest workers is likely much greater than among younger workers," the report goes on to say. "However, although there are some wide swings from year to year, medical severity for workers 65 and older does not seem much different from (workers over age 35)." (WCxKit)
Lastly, NCCI reported that higher wages added to higher indemnity costs among older employees in the study, who obtained 26% more in average temporary benefits per day than workers ages 20 to 34.
The study can be found at: www.ncci.com.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
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