The workers compensation system is healthy and strong.

Executive Summary

Even though medical inflation has been more muted than general inflation, and workers comp claims frequency is declining, the incidence of some categories of large claims (burns, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries) has grown, notes NCCI CEO Bill Donnell in this article reviewing some recent NCCI studies of workers claims trends.

Donnell highlights the medical cost drivers for these growing large claims and the potential for large claims to further escalate as issues on the radar screen, noting that while large claims are less than 0.5 percent of lost-time claims, they make up 15 percent of total losses in workers compensation.

The system overall remains healthly, he stresses.

On behalf of the National Council on Compensation Insurance, it feels great to be able to say that with confidence, especially as NCCI is celebrating its 100th anniversary. A visionary group of insurance policymakers and leaders created NCCI in 1923, and from its inception, our role has remained the same: to foster a healthy workers compensation system.

During the past 100 years, workers compensation has made American workplaces safer and helped millions of people recover from workplace injuries. Employers, workers, legislators, regulators, carriers and all system stakeholders can be justifiably proud of what we have accomplished together—through 17 recessions, one world war, a fourfold expansion of the workforce and a global pandemic—since the early 1920s. The system has been tested, and there always will be challenges. It’s how we prepare and respond that makes the industry resilient.

While this is a moment worth celebrating, it’s also a time to reflect on where we are today and on the challenges we may face in the future.

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