NCCI: Baby boomers pose little additional concern for comp system
Research from the National Council on Compensation Insurance indicates little cost differences among workers after the age of 35, up through 64. "Whatever impact on claim costs baby boomers will have, it's already in the workers' comp system. So there is no more stress on the system," said Harry Shuford.
NCCI's chief economist revealed the latest figures on the effects of an aging workforce at the recent Annual Issues Symposium. They show the percentage of older employees in the workforce has steadily increased in the last decade.
While those in the 45 to 54 age group have increased slightly to nearly 25 percent, workers aged 55 to 64 have increased from about 10 percent in 2000 to nearly 15 percent in 2010. At the same time, those in the 35 to 44 year age group have steadily declined as a share of the workforce.
NCCI reports the claims of older workers are 50 percent more costly, mainly due to severity. One reason is the differences in the types of injuries incurred, which pushes up medical claim costs. Looking at the leading types of injuries for those in the 20 to 34 year age group compared to those between the ages of 45 and 64 shows some marked differences.
For example, the top claim diagnosis for lost time claims in the older age group is sprain/rotator cuff, something that doesn't appear at all in the top 10 list of diagnoses for the younger workers. Knees are another source of injury for older workers, with torn medial cartilage/meniscus of knee the fourth top diagnosis for older workers, but not showing up in the list for younger workers, who suffered more back injuries and ankle sprains.
One reason for higher indemnity costs among older injured workers is the pay scale. They are typically paid more than their younger coworkers.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
May 31, 2011
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