Orlando, Fla. —Workers’ compensation rates in 2018 are mixed, with some programs seeing pricing flat to down and others seeing spikes, according to a market prediction.
The following are ten aspects to follow closely this year:
1) Immigration reform
The immigration reform is something that has been talked about politically for years.The outcomes of these discussions could have a significant impact on the millions of undocumented immigrants currently working in this country without the benefit of workers’ compensation coverage or other workplace rules and regulations. Employers must be prepared.
2) Insurance Technology goes mainstream
Technology has been and is being developed that will help build a better insurance customer experience.
3) The impact of an aging population
The aging workforce, the evolving workforce, and technology are all having a significant impact on the workers’ compensation industry.
Being prepared to attract the next generation and provide the necessary education and training and becomes a matter or utter importance to all kinds of businesses, since as we all know, the current aging workforce is getting ready for retirement. The whole game may change, including the way we communicate with injured workers.
4) The value of engagement with the consumer
2018 is already the time to engage consumers in the conversation around our products, services, and certain program design. Fast delivery and the expected high standards of excellence are leading all business’ sectors to consider their definition of consumer. In such case it is important to acknowledge that the injured worker’s perspective could lose strength within the workers’ compensation system.
5) Fraud has a new meaning
Your first thought may be disabled workers involved in a variety of physical activities they claim to be unable to do but you may be surprised to learn that the most common source of workers’ compensation fraud comes from employers in the form of premium fraud. Employers that commit workers’ compensation fraud drive higher premiums for honest employers and also create an unfair competitive business environment. The construction and staffing industries have been dealing with this issue for many years. Many states have been aggressively cracking down on this type of fraud, but it continues to be a significant problem.
6) Wellness and productivity
Workplace wellbeing programs are expanding beyond weight loss and smoking cessation in 2018. You may now include financial planning tools, resilience, and mental health awareness training. The integration of these benefits, and making its use accesible and easy for the employee, has proven to have a positive impact in business performance.
7) Changes in OSHA
With the new Administration, less new regulations and perhaps even a rollback of some existing regulations are becoming possible. According to sources, the approach has been more consultative with employers, rather than combative.
8) Connectivity on Digital Health
Probably the most common digital health discussion in workers’ comp is telehealth. Industry leaders see telehealth as an important tool in connecting injured employees to healthcare and rehabilitation services, speeding up the recovery process and getting them back into the workforce.
9) Legalizing Recreational Marijuana
Its use is now legal in more states than ever before. Although it is still illegal in Florida, continued pressure and politics could eventually change the workforce landscape. Right now there is no reliable method for employers to determine whether an employee is impaired on the job.
10) Job accommodation
It makes little difference whether an employee is injured on the job and then requests an accommodation as part of a disability or leave of absence, or has the need for an accommodation in general. Not all people with disabilities (or even all people with the same disability) need the same accommodation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the only legal limitation on an employer's obligation to provide reasonable accommodation is that the changes or modifications may not cause "undue hardship" to the employer.
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