Even when no injury occurs, after any workplace incident or accident, a written incident report allows a timely investigation. Some incidents are minor and need only slight fixes to prevent their recurrence. However, in more serious situations where a serious injury or property damage could have or did occur, a subsequent failure analysis allows management to determine how to best prevent similar occurrences.
In employers’ 2014 plan year, all companies must ensure their non-grandfathered plans adhere to a single out of pocket (OOP) maximum for their employee’s health care plan expenses. This requirement applies to both fully insured and self-insured plans. Going forward, the OOP limit must include all spending on medical, prescription drugs and both mental health and substance abuse treatment benefits. Actuarial estimates indicate this change could increase employer health care costs between 1.5% and 2% next year.
Many of today’s employers offer robust wellness programs, which, typically, offer employees incentives for certain types of behaviors in an effort to improve health and, ultimately, reduce employer medical costs. These rewards can include premium discounts, membership in gyms and cash.
When evaluating your company’s risks, one concept that is frequently overlooked is the idea of how human error could impact your organization. Until recently, there has been very little written on this subject. However, in the recent issue of the RIMS Risk Management Magazine, an article by Tony Kern and David McKay touched on this point and successfully demonstrated how human error is one risk that companies must continually monitor.
While none of us can predict the future, we do not need a crystal ball to tell us that as the Baby Boomers retire in the next decade, there will be a mass exodus of talented and experienced employees leaving the workforce. What does that mean to you, as one of the leaders of your organization? Do you see the exodus of the “Boomers” as an opportunity to reduce your labor and health care cost, or, are you concerned that the “War for Talent” will lead to a bidding war with compensation costs spiraling out of control? One thing is certain, organizations that do not begin developing their talent management systems now will be susceptible to being negatively impacted in the very near future.
Certain indicators early in the life of a workers’ injury are red flags — a strong possibility your employee’s healing will be delayed or that the claim may be fraudulent. If you notice any of the following signs, discuss the claim with your adjuster as soon as possible. Once the management of a workers’ compensation injury goes astray, it is usually difficult to bring it back to center.
As workers’ compensation rates rise across the nation and the National Council of Compensation Insurers (NCCI) institutes new rating strategies that could negatively impact your premiums, the importance of reducing the frequency and severity of workers’ compensation claims becomes even more crucial.
Employers should be concerned about the possibility of higher health care costs in 2014. Depending on the industry, some employers may be hit with premium increases and could possibly see penalties. For instance, employers in the hospitality sector such as retail and restaurant industries could see average increases of 60 percent in their health care costs. According to a report last month from the Society of Actuaries, the reasons for these increases are being attributed to the greater use of health care services by individuals who had previously had no coverage, and they further predict that the claims costs could increase by another 32% as early as 2017.