MN AR Shows Claims Fell But Costs Rose


St. Paul, MN (CompNewsNetwork) - The Minnesota Workers' Compensation System Report, 2008, was released in July 2010 and presents data for 1997 through 2008 about several aspects of Minnesota's workers' compensation system — claims, benefits and costs; vocational rehabilitation; and disputes and dispute resolution. According to the report, the major findings were:

  • The claim rate fell continually from 1997 through 2008.
  • The total cost of Minnesota's workers' compensation system per $100 of payroll has fluctuated since 1997. The 2008 cost per $100 of payroll was near the low-point for 1997 to 2008.
  • Adjusted for average wage growth, average medical and indemnity benefits per insured claim rose substantially between 1997 and 2007.[fn1: 2007 was the last year for which these particular statistics were available at the time of this report.]
  • Relative to payroll, medical benefits were at approximately the same level in 2008 as in  1997, but indemnity benefits were lower, reflecting the net effect of the falling claim rate and higher benefits per claim.
  • By counteracting the increasing trend in benefits per claim, the falling claim rate has been a major factor in keeping system cost per $100 of payroll at historically low levels.
  • The increase in indemnity benefits per claim is due primarily to increasing benefit duration and increases in the frequency and amounts of stipulated benefits.
  • In vocational rehabilitation (VR):
  • --The participation rate increased during most years from 1997 to 2008.
  • --Average cost per participant rose substantially from 1998 to 2008, as did average VR cost per indemnity claim (adjusting for average wage growth).
  • --Average service duration showed little change from 1998 to 2008.
  • --The percentage of participants with a job at the conclusion of services declined steadily between 1998 and 2008, with a sharp downturn in 2008. In 2008, 47 percent of participants did not have a job at the conclusion of services.
  • The dispute rate rose substantially from 1997 to 2008, as did the percentage of paid indemnity claims with claimant attorney involvement.
  • The annual number of dispute resolutions at DLI was substantially higher from 2007 to 2009 than in prior years.

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