Slight Drop in Comp Benefits Paid in 2010

The National Academy of Social Insurance reported it resulted mainly from a 2.1 percent drop in medical benefits for injured workers.

The amount paid in 2010 for workers' compensation benefits declined by 0.7 percent to $57.5 billion, according to a "Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Coverage and Costs, 2010" report released Aug. 2 by the National Academy of Social Insurance. NASI said the decline resulted mainly from a 2.1 percent drop in medical benefits for injured workers.

Employers' costs for workers' compensation fell by 2.7 percent in 2010 to the lowest level as a share of covered wages in the past 30 years. "Employers' costs as a percent of payroll declined in 43 jurisdictions," said John F. Burton, Jr., who chairs the panel that oversees the report. "This decline is probably due to the slow pace of the recovery, with many jurisdictions still experiencing relatively high unemployment rates."

This was the first time NASI had released employers' costs by state.

The NASI news release said in the 1970s, medical benefits nationally accounted for 30 percent of total benefits, but in 2010 they accounted for almost 50 percent. The rising cost of health care accounts for this, according to the release.

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