Average Total Cost of a Texas Workers’ Comp Claim Was Stable from 2012 to 2017, Among Lowest of 18 Study States


Cambridge, MA (WorkersCompensation.com) - The average total cost of a Texas workers’ compensation claim remained stable from 2012 to 2017 and was among the lowest of 18 states analyzed, according to a recent study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

“The recent Texas trends in cost components for claims differed from trends in many other study states,” said Ramona Tanabe, executive vice president and counsel of WCRI. “Medical payments per claim decreased 5 percent per year from 2015 to 2017, unlike in most states where they were stable or growing. Indemnity benefits per claim were stable (decreasing slightly) from 2015 to 2017 in Texas, while in some other study states they were growing.”

The study, CompScope™ Benchmarks for Texas, 19th Edition, compared Texas with workers’ compensation systems in 17 other states. Total costs per claim in Texas were among the lowest of the 18 study states for 2015 claims at 36 months of maturity. Compared with the 18-state median, Texas was lower or typical for all key cost components of a claim. For the study, WCRI analyzed workers’ compensation claims with experience through March 2018.

“Indemnity benefits per claim were 28 percent lower in Texas than the median state,” says Tanabe. “Several factors, which reflect system features, contributed to that result. In particular, permanent partial disability (PPD)/lump-sum payments per PPD/lump-sum claim were the lowest in Texas. The main reasons for that result are that most lump-sum settlements are not permitted in Texas as liability for future medical benefits cannot be settled.”

The following are among the study’s other findings:

  • Texas had a higher rate of first indemnity payments made within 21 days of injury.
  • Benefit delivery expenses for claims with expenses fell 4 percent a year from 2015 to 2017, reflecting decreasing medical cost containment expenses per claim.
  • Average weekly wage, average weeks of temporary disability and PPD/lump-sum payments per PPD/lump-sum claim were stable from 2015 to 2017, after increasing from 2012 to 2015.

To purchase a copy of this report, visit https://www.wcrinet.org/reports/compscope-benchmarks-for-texas-19th-edition.

The Cambridge-based WCRI is recognized as a leader in providing high-quality, objective information about public policy issues involving workers' compensation systems. 

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