Worker’s Comp Premiums Drop Again—And Without a Government Fee Schedule

Provider coalition mobilizes to fight government price controls on care for injured workers

October 06, 2017

Effective October 1, Wisconsin employers experienced a significant reduction in worker’s compensation premiums for the following year, all without implementing a government fee schedule for health care services.

In June, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) issued an announcement stating that employers would see an 8.46 percent reduction in premiums in October 2017—the largest decrease in nearly a quarter century. The decrease in premiums results in $170 million in savings to employers. In that release, DWD Secretary Ray Allen said, “This is just another indicator for businesses that Wisconsin is a great place to work.” The 8.46 percent drop is an overall figure; the manufacturing segment will see a whopping 9.28 percent reduction.

WHA, along with the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association, Wisconsin Medical Society and the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association, have joined publicly to highlight this latest rate reduction amidst another effort, led by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, to enact government price controls for medical care delivered to workers injured on the job.

“While 44 states have worker’s comp systems that interfere with the free market via government price setting or preventing injured patients from choosing where to get care, Wisconsin’s system allows freedom of the market and freedom of patient choice,” the group said. “So even though Wisconsin’s rate of injuries on the job is 20 percent above the national average, injured workers use fewer medical services, are more satisfied with their care, initiate fewer litigated claims and return to work faster than every other state in the nation. Wisconsin’s health care providers are delivering value to our work comp program.”

See the joint press release.

This story originally appeared in the October 06, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter