Compliance

Older Workers Affect Workers’ Comp Loss Costs Less Than Expected

By Sheena Harrison

Jan. 4, 2012

Despite an increasing number of aging U.S. workers, older employees have had a smaller-than-expected effect on workers compensation loss costs, according to NCCI Holdings Inc.

In a report released Jan. 4, Boca Raton, Florida-based NCCI found similar average loss costs for all groups of workers ages 35 to 64. Additionally, claim frequency has declined across all age groups in the last several years as workplaces generally have 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 said.

However, medical and indemnity claim severity for workers ages 45 to 64 was more than 5 percent higher than claim severity for the study’s youngest workers, ages 20 to 34. Much of that was a result of more severe injuries among older workers, including sprained rotator cuffs, torn knee cartilage and lumbar displacement.

NCCI noted that 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 said. “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).”

NCCI also noted that higher wages contributed to higher indemnity costs among older employees in the study, who received 26 percent more in average temporary benefits per day than workers ages 20 to 34.

Sheena Harrison writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.

Sheena Harrison writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management.

About Workforce.com

blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Compliance

Exempt vs. non-exempt employees: knowing the difference

Summary Employees are exempt from FLSA requirements when they meet specific exemption criteria based on...

Department of Labor, exempt employees, Misclassification, non-exempt employees

workforce blog

Compliance

California fast food workers bill: why it’s more than meets the eye and how to prepare

Summary: California signs bill establishing a “fast food council” that has the power to raise the indus...

workforce blog

Compliance

Minimum Wage by State in 2022 – All You Need to Know

Summary The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25, but the rate is higher in 30 states, along with Washing...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance