NASI releases latest study on workers' comp benefits, costs

Aug. 26, 2014

nasicostThe always excellent Washington Research Council blog has a post up today noting the release of the annual study of national workers' compensation coverage, benefits, and costs by the National Academy of Social Insurance.

As WRC reports, the study, relying on most-recently-available data from 2012, shows Washington State continues to lead the nation in amount of benefits paid per covered worker, at $840.16. The next highest benefit payment state, Alaska, came in at $797.65 per covered worker in 2012.

Workers' comp benefit payments are obviously a major indicator of system cost, and the study notes (Table 14, pp. 34-35) that from 2008-2012, Washington ranks 11th in the country in largest increase in employer cost per $100 of covered wages, taking into account just the employer costs in the system (i.e., excluding the portions of the state fund premium assessed to workers).

NASI figures continue to belie past public relations efforts of groups highly supportive of Washington's generous benefit structure that its system pays the highest benefits in the country at among the lowest employer costs in the country. (See, e.g., this exchange).

And of course, for self-insurers, benefit payments and their administration are direct employer costs.