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The Affordable Care Act and Workers’ Compensation Programs

The constant evolution of national health care necessarily affects workers’ compensation programs. When purchasing or adjusting coverage to suit their situations, companies should take these effects into consideration. For example, changes such as greater access to coverage are expected to create a healthier public, which should reduce claim frequency. Further, healthier employees are more likely to make quicker and more complete recoveries from injuries and return to the workplace sooner, shortening the amount of payments and lowering settlement costs.

When more employees are covered by company or personal policies, there may be a shift of costs from workers’ compensation to health insurance. Workers who do not have coverage often file for compensation or stay on it longer to receive benefit payments for medical issues that are not necessarily work related. These claims and their attendant costs will probably shift to health care as all of the facets of the Affordable Care Act go into effect.

Another reason employees may opt to use personal health care coverage over workers’ compensation programs is that they have more control. Many programs do not allow employees to choose their own providers, and there are often detailed requirements for dealing with claims handlers and payment systems.

These and other changes in the health care arena make it critical for organizations to review workers’ compensation programs carefully and choose an insurance company that is prepared to provide the most current service options.