California Public Self-Insured Workers’ Compensation Claim Cost Rises

Analysis shows that amid the pandemic, the total number of workers’ compensation claims reported by California public self-insured employers declined slightly last year, but a growing number of lost-time and serious claims Growing claims are fueled by higher claims costs. pushed up total workers’ compensation claims and suffered losses for cities, counties and other government agencies.

That’s according to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, which released an analysis of data from the state’s Office of Self-Insurance Plans on Tuesday.

OSIP’s Summary of Public Self-Insured Data for Fiscal Year 2020/21 Provides a First Look at Claim Volume, Total Loss Payments and Total Incurred for the 12 Months Ended June 30, 2021 .

The latest summary shows that in fiscal year 2020/21, these employers provided salary coverage to nearly 2 million California public workers whose wages and salaries totaled more than $ 139 billion, according to the CWCI.

The CWCI review found that the number of employees covered by self-insured public employers last year declined 4.4% from the total reported in the FY2019/20 Inception Report, although the total number of reported complaints fell by less than 1% to 107,161 cases.

Although there are fewer workers and slightly fewer claims, total claims payments in the first report increased by over $ 30 million to $ 445 million, or 7.3% more than the comparable figure for FY2019 / 20, and 41.6% more than the $ 314.3 million noted in the first report for FY2013 / 14, which was the low point of the past decade and The first year after the enactment of SB 863, the 2012 workers compensation reform bill signed by former Governor Jerry Brown, according to the analysis.

While the overall volume of public self-insurance claims was down from the previous year, CWCI noted that this drop was entirely due to a 19.7% drop in medical-only claims, which are relatively few. costly, while the number of more costly lost-time claims has increased. by 15.5%.

The average compensation paid per lost-time claim for fiscal year 2020/21 in the first report was $ 4,256, so adding the 8,967 lost-time cases was the key factor that fueled the increase in public self-insurance payments last year, according to CWCI.

The CWCI says the recent increase in the number of public sector claims over the past year is likely due, at least in part, to the addition of COVID-19 claims to the claims mix, as the self-insured public workforce includes many essential elements of workers like police, firefighters, prison guards and public hospital workers who have a presumption of compensation if they contract the virus, and who were particularly hard hit by COVID last year.


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