Once Insignificant, Health Care Costs Within Workers' Comp Have Ballooned

Education for state policy-makers on workers' compensation health reform issues

From 1996 to 1999, staff at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) educated legislators and legislative staffs, regulators and administrators about the health benefit component of workers' compensation, a system designed to care for workers who are injured on the job.

The NCSL developed the project in cooperation with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), a trade association for workers' compensation program administrators.

Key Results:

  • The project identified two issues in the workers' compensation health care system that have hampered state legislators' efforts to develop policies that are cost-efficient and still assure quality of care:
    • There is a need for better data measuring the quality of care and the cost of health care provided within the workers' compensation system.
    • It is imperative to the long-term health of the workers' compensation system to find out how managed care is working within it.
  • Project staff identified Florida, Kentucky, California and Minnesota as potential states for case studies on what works and what does not work in workers' compensation health care reform.