In a new study conducted by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) the researchers found that the total costs for a workers compensation claim in Michigan or low compared with other states prior to the 2011 legislative changes that took place in that state.
the study conducted by the WCRI covers the time period prior to the passage of major legislation concerning workers compensation in 2011. The study was conducted to help policy and lawmakers establish benchmarks for the workers compensation system in Michigan prior to implementing the new laws and regulations outlined in the public act 266 in 2011 as was explained by Ramona Tanabe, WCRI’s deputy director and counsel.
The new legislative changes defined disability and post injury wage earning capacity in accordance with precedence outlined by the Michigan supreme court. The changes extend the number of circumstances under which benefits could be terminated, increases offsets for retirement benefits, and expand employer control of medical care among other changes.
The study found that in 2009, the total cost of workers compensation claims in Michigan were roughly 12% lower than the median average in the 16 states that were under study. the lower-cost can largely be attributed to lower medical payments proclaim compared to other states: roughly 35% lower than the 16 state median average.
The report suggested that indemnity benefits, and wage replacement payments were typical in Michigan. It suggests that this is because of offsetting factors such as a shorter duration of temporary disability and less frequent, but generally more expensive lump sum payments. The findings reported that litigation expenses for individual claim were typical when compared to other states but grew at a slower rate in comparison.
Finally, growth in the total costs per individual claim in the state was one of the lowest amongst all state participants.
The report in its entirety can be purchased by going to this link.