If you’re still wondering whether or not the November 2016 Republican sweep will impact workers’ comp, you might want to chew on this – there’s huge uncertainty. This is what we know for now:
If President Donald Trump keeps his campaign promise, there’s a likelihood of increased medical expense and higher claims frequency. The Department of Labor “intervention” is done. There’s no new commission, no study or research, no federal standards, or advisory panel. Less emphasis will be placed on Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforcement and workplace safety.
HIGH CLAIM JOBS
We are starting to see energy projects fast-tracked. Coal mines, oil and pipelines will all see more jobs, albeit the global economy might have something to say on these matters.
Trump has been shoving an infrastructure investment which is hitting the trillion-dollar mark. To most Republicans, this is an abomination as they don’t want to see a rise in government spending. If it’s moved forward, expect significant rises in claims costs, medical expenses and of course premiums, as these jobs are in high-claim-frequency and severity industries. Trade drives jobs, consumer buying and inflation – all which impact workers’ comp.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA)
Some research has shown that the Affordable Care Act has aided workers’ comp. Medical costs have dropped since ACA’s enactment despite average cost increases in group health and rising employment. The newly insured will be in higher-frequency jobs. If the ACA is slashed “root and branch,” we can only anticipate and increase to medical costs.
This might just be speculation given Trump’s backtracking of campaign promises. Nonetheless, we can expect higher medical costs, more claims and higher premiums.
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