California workers compensation insurance
Just last year, (S.B.) 863, new legislation intended to address steadily increasing workers’ compensation (WC) costs in the state took effect. It was met with approval by a coalition of California businesses and workers’ groups who routinely supported the new law. The hope was that the new law would aid companies that annually reiterated that their cost for workers compensation insurance was detrimental to their operations and could potentially put many small companies out of business.
Labor and management agreed that in order for permanent disability benefits to be increased, costs would have to be decreased where possible (they had declined by 26 percent under the state’s 2004 workers’ comp reforms). They also agreed that where possible, the workers’ compensation process should be made more efficient. One of the benefits is that it would provide solid savings for employers, which saw the costs of WC insurance creep upward from $14.8 billion to $19 billion over the past 2 years.
To counteract another of the problems that arose out of the 2004 reforms S.B. 863 minimizes delays in medical treatment and also improves access to quality care, most of its provisions having taken effect January 1, 2013.
Reforms under the new law
The increase in permanent disability benefits for employees is balanced by significant changes in the benefit delivery system that are intended to eliminate costly waste, inefficiencies, and loopholes. The law increases permanent disability (PD) benefits by 30 percent, or approximately $740 million per year. The increase, which will be phased in over a 2-year period, adjusts the formula for calculating the benefit amount in order for the compensation amounts to more accurately reflect any loss of future earnings.
The law also excludes, with some limitations, the ability to obtain increases in permanent disability ratings for sleep dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and psychiatric disorders. It does, however, provide medical treatment for such conditions if they are a compensable consequence of an industrial injury.
Changes to supplemental job displacement vouchers
As a result of SB 863, the voucher amount (which was on a sliding scale ranging from $4,000 to $10,000) is now fixed at $6,000 for all qualifying injured workers, and it is to be offered when the injured worker reaches permanent and stationary status and their treating physician reports on the individual’s work abilities and limitations resulting from their injury.
In addition, the bill has created a Return-to-Work Fund that establishes payments from the fund to be made available to injured workers whose permanent disability ratings are disproportionately low in comparison to their wage loss. These are just a few of the exciting changes that took place in California workers compensation insurance.
nursing home worker’s compensation
Aging is an inevitable part of human life. As the human body progresses through life, the need for quality health care increases alongside the demand for safe communities and residencies. Nursing homes are no longer a place for senior citizens to simply eat and sleep. They are now lively homes filled with health care, weekly events, and opportunities to build relationships throughout the local community. However, these beneficial systems cause an increase in the number of staff who need to be protected through nursing home worker’s compensation.
Essential Elements of Worker’s Comp
Providing nursing home staff members with worker’s compensation is beneficial to the managers, employees, and residents. The programs create safe and supportive environments in which staff can provide the best in care for each resident. When looking for nursing home worker’s compensation programs, directors or managers should look for the following inclusions and coverages:
- On site and web based training for staff
- Protection for nursing home and commercial sites
- Protection of company automobiles
- Employee liability programs
- Risk management training for directors
- Customer support and service both online and over the telephone
These components are important to keep in mind when searching for nursing home worker’s compensation programs. As society members continue to live longer lives, their needs for socialization and events outside of the care facilities will increase. So will their need for privacy in eating, bathing, and sleeping, as their healthier bodies will not require as much dependent care. Nursing homes still play a critical role in senior care, and keeping employees safe and satisfied is the first step in providing supportive and healthy environments for the residents.
Workers compensation, considered the nation’s oldest social insurance program, is burdened with issues related to the care and rights of the workforce. Initially introduced as a no-fault program to provide medical benefits and wage replacement in the place of the uncertainty of tort recovery, workers’ comp has seen a significant rise in rates over the years and this is a concern for many business owners looking for effective ways to reduce costs
How to reduce the scope and extent of injuries
There has been sustained and coordinated efforts by many employers to find ways to reduce the amount of injuries sustained in their field of operation. Many service industries rely on safety programs, training and weekly meetings to discuss the “how’s and why’s” that lead to workers suffering both minor and severe injuries and what can be done to keep the number of issues down to a manageable number.
For many workers, injuries are often plain and simply, “just part of the job.” Auto workers fully expect to sustain minor cuts and bruises, simply because of the nature of their work. Restaurant workers expect to get cuts and minor burns because they work around or near hot ovens all day. Office workers expect to get occasional carpal tunnel syndrome because of the repetitive nature of their work.
But serious injuries can and should be prevented. Knowing the dangers associated with certain types of work makes it easier to construct rules, suggestions and methods from preventing them from occurring:
- Don’t lift heavy objects alone; enlist the help of another worker
- Never stack items (such as tires at an auto shop) so high that they can tumble over and injure another employee
- Never put heavy items up on high shelves (for example, in a supermarket) where they can fall and strike a worker on the head or foot and cause injury
- Don’t leave things lying on floors, or near stairways where an employee could have a serious trip and fall causing severe injuries
While this may seem like common sense, the fact is that many businesses allow these types of practices, or don’t realize that these types of behaviors can easily lead to injuries, which can result in a workers compensation claim being filed. While there is no doubt that some workers may make fraudulent claims from time to time, but when a real and serious injury does occur is not the time to consider added safety measures. That is merely putting the cart before the horse.
Workers compensation auto dealer
While every employer wants to make their workplace safe, accidents can and do happen. At a car dealership, working with large and occasionally fast-moving vehicles, employees can be subject to a number of risks. When considering workers compensation auto dealer and insurance broker alike should remember that there are several benefits to this type of insurance.
Workers compensation insurance helps to keep employees from getting hurt in the first place, since good safety practices that protect them also help keep premiums low. This provides an incentive to reduce risk. Also, employees are more likely to be satisfied if they receive compensation; it improves morale and reduces lawsuits. Finally, compensation for workers isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law in many US states. It helps keep the company stable and productive.
This kind of compensation is good for employees too, not just employers. If a worker is injured on the job, they don’t want to have to worry about lost wages or medical fees. Compensation helps them keep their lives together in case disaster strikes and makes them more likely to return to the company after they have recovered.
There are lots of places to look for this kind of insurance; insurance brokers and managing general underwriters (MGUs) can help a workers compensation auto dealer. Employee compensation keeps companies stable, workers safe, and everybody happy.