- Injured workers with high deductibles are more likely than their peers to file workers' compensation claims than a group health insurance claim, a new report from Workers Compensation Research Institute found.
- An injured employee with an average of $550 remaining on their deductible was 1.4% more likely to file a claim than someone with no deductible at the time of injury, the research revealed. The difference amounts to a 5.3% increase in the volume of workers' compensation claims.
- The study also found that workers with soft tissue conditions are even more likely to file for workers' compensation when they have a high deductible. And the bump in filing for workers' compensation "is concentrated in states where employees can choose their initial provider," the report said.
Although more employers are offering healthcare benefits to workers than the market has seen in more than five years, some are turning to high deductible plans to offset the rising cost of offering this important benefit. Employers have also looked to wellness initiatives as a way to decrease medical spending and meet employee expectations. More than a third of respondents in a Wellable study said they would spend more on wellness programs in 2018.
But employers aren't the only ones struggling with medical bills. At 82%, the vast majority of employees cite medical expenses as their biggest challenge, according to a 2018 Willis Towers Watson poll. The same poll revealed, however, that employees may be overlooking health savings accounts, which could help them pay down deductibles, out of pocket expenses and other costs.