As the California State Legislature looks to close out this year's legislative session on Friday, we ask that in evaluating any workers' compensation bills, that they look at the realities - the facts - of our current system.
Employers and insurers are living large:
- Since 2012, employers have saved over $3 billion annually.
- Average insurer charged rates are down 1/3 since 2015 and 2/3 since 2003.
- Since 1975, workers' compensation charged premiums paid by employers have increased by only six cents per $100 of payroll.
- 2018 was the fifth consecutive year of a combined loss and expense ratio of 90 percent or less.
- Average returns on net worth have increased significantly in California since 2012, going from 3 percent in 2013, to 7.9 percent in 2015, to 8.7 percent in 2016, and to 9.9 percent in 2017.
- CEO's earn, on average, 248 percent more than the average worker and their pay has increased 940 percent since 1978, while employee wages have only increased 12 percent.
Meanwhile, California workers, and our workers' compensation system, are struggling:
- A third of middle-income Americans don't have the ability to cover an unexpected $400 bill.
- Over 720,000 people in Greater Los Angeles alone are classified as being severely rent burdened, spending over 50 percent of their income on housing.
- Over 40 percent of people experiencing chronic homelessness have some form of physical disability.
- California has the slowest workers' compensation system for medical treatment authorizations as reported by a Workers' Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study issued last year.
- Insurers' beloved Utilization Review has led to a system where denied-then-paid claims cost on average over $10,000 more to process than claims that aren't denied.
- There aren't enough QMEs in the system to evaluate an injured worker's medical needs when their claim is denied.
Californians can't afford to get hurt on the job. With our current system, they'd end up homeless.
If we aren't going to fix the system to better protect injured workers and their families, all we ask of legislators is that they do no further harm.