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Workers’ Compensation Predictions for 2019

Workers’ Compensation Predictions for 20192019 has already brought with it a number of changes regarding labor issues and workers’ compensation. Conditions in the workers’ compensation insurance market continue to be a hot topic as agents, brokers and employers look ahead to try and figure out what the rest of 2019 has in store for them. Below are some workers’ compensation predictions for 2019.

Favorable Pricing

Towards the end of 2018, workers’ compensation pricing fell by approximately 5% and conditions are expected to remain favorable further into 2019. Only about a quarter of all buyers saw any increases in their renewal rates, likely due to factors not related to the market itself. More than half of all workers’ compensation buyers happily reported that they renewed their coverage with significant rate decreases.

This favorable pricing in the workers’ compensation market is said to be driven, in part, by some of the positive developments that have occurred over the last several years. Declines in average loss rates, declines in lost-time claim frequency, a slower increase in the rate of claim severity and a combined ratio at its lowest level in 50 years are all factors that have worked together to help bring workers’ compensation pricing down for the past few quarters and hopefully will continue through the next few and beyond.

Legislative Changes

Several states went through significant gubernatorial and legislative changes in the 2018 elections, and experts say that this may have a large impact on the workers’ compensation landscape going forward. New regulators and administrative law judges could potentially make for some interesting changes in the workers’ compensation practices of individual states.

Value-based Care

Value-based care is a term that refers to health-provider reimbursement models that are designed to incentivize doctors and other practitioners to improve patient outcomes. The idea of value-based care is steadily gaining popularity as an alternative to the currently dominant medical-provider reimbursement system, known as fee-for-service. While we may not see it in practice in the year 2019, the idea of a qualitative system over a quantitative one will be a hot topic in the coming months and may begin gaining more traction soon.

Holistic Treatment Plans

If the opioid crisis has taught us anything, it’s that treating pain is so much more complicated than just prescribing medication and providing physical therapy. Pain has so many other factors – biological, psychological and emotional – that are not considered when providers focus just on alleviating the symptoms. Research shows that emotional and psychological support can help reduce pain and, in turn, reduce the use of pain medication by patients. Workers’ comp providers are beginning to adopt this more holistic approach to treating pain and injury, so we are likely to see more holistic treatment plans in 2019 and beyond.

About ASIA Workers’ Compensation

Associated Specialty Insurance Agency, Inc. has been “The Workers’ Compensation Specialist for Brokers and Agents” for the past two decades and is committed to providing brokers and insurance agents across the East Coast with expertise and services to develop a Workers’ Compensation policy. For more information about how we can assist you with claims management, anti-fraud measures, and more call (610) 543-5510 to speak with one of our professionals.

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