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Workers’ comp; where the smart money is(n’t)

Earlier this month the fine folk at CWCI published a two-page briefing on NAIC’s workers’ comp insurer financial returns.  One could be excused for thinking the document detailed halcyon days of overflowing corporate coffers, treasuries stuffed with profits gleaned by jacking up rates and screwing employers and patients.

Shockingly, despite two terrific years of solid financial results, the work comp industry is only half as profitable as the rest of American industry.

I know, I was stunned too.

But the numbers don’t lie; US workers’ comp insurers’ 2014 return on net worth was 7.5% – while the US industry average was 14.3%.

And that wasn’t atypical. Over the decade ending in 2014, work comp insurers’ delivered an average return on net worth of 6.8% compared to the all-industry average of 13.9%.

Digging deeper into the numbers, there were only two years where WC hit a net worth return in the double digits – while the rest of US industry did that  e v e r y year.

Now, thanks to ProPublica, we KNOW you work comp carriers are totally and completely focused on jacking up profits by screwing workers. Clearly, you guys and gals are just NOT getting it done.

What does this mean for you?

Time to get cracking!

The NAIC report is available here.

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates




A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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