Any worker that has become seriously ill or injured on the job has hopefully experienced workers’ compensation benefits in action. Not having to worry too much about medical expenses or pay while temporarily off a job can certainly help put an employee’s mind at ease. However, one recent study has analyzed numerous states, including North Carolina, and determined that workers’ compensation benefits often paid much more for medical procedures than what is actually necessary.
The study examined simple shoulder and knee operations and found that the prices paid for these procedures varied wildly depending on whether or not they were paid through a sponsored health plan or workers’ compensation. Over 15 states were analyzed, and researchers found that workers’ compensation consistently paid much more than programs sponsored by an employer. One researcher noted that this information severely hinders the states with higher costs.
Employers pay for workers’ compensation to cover employees that may get hurt or sick while working. In turn, an employer’s own pay is determined by the number of employees he has and amount of injuries they happen to sustain. The study noted, though, that only some health care providers are regulated by the state.
This means that states that do not regulate health care providers often have significantly higher workers’ compensation costs as a result. In essence, a state that has higher prices for workers’ compensation benefits means that there will likely be fewer jobs in that state since fewer workers can be covered. Employees may benefit from learning about the regulations in North Carolina so that they can better prepare themselves in the event of a severe accident or illness.
Source: South Bend Tribune, “Study: Procedures often cost more under workers’ comp,” Richard Newman, July 1, 2013