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Managing Costs Of The Aging Workforce In Workers’ Comp Claims

Posted on July 10, 2014 by Rita Wilson

Problems arise in the workplace with aging employees, especially when the work involved requires physical stamina. The same can be said for those employees with pre-existing medical conditions, like diabetes or asthma. One way to manage the occurrence of workers’ compensation claims is to provide a number of alternatives for employees, measures that will act as preventative care.

Some companies determine the definition of aging by setting a certain age limit, depending on the type of work it can be as early as 35. While it has been shown that there are no greater instances of workers’ compensation claims in older workers, the cost of claims from aging workers is significant to companies. Implementing wellness programs that provide incentives for healthy behavior is one way to counter the aging or ailing of your workforce. Marsh has released a Risk Management Research Briefing that shows ways in which employers can counter the workers’ compensation costs for an aging workforce.

The cost to employers when older workers are injured can be much higher than when younger employees are injured. Obesity and other comorbidities common to older employees could also extend recovery times. But you can take action to reduce the frequency of injuries and help your employees remain fit and better able to recover following an injury.

In light of  our current challenges with MSAs, and the struggle we see with CMS acceptance in cases where co-morbidities and obesity complicate treatment and settlement, this article brings to light some interesting points.  Accidents in the elderly may be inevitable, but proactive steps taken now to create a healthier workforce at any age may result in significantly less severe accidents.  For Medicare beneficiaries, the financial ramifications could be significant.