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A report released Wednesday by the National Academy of Social Insurance states that U.S. workers compensation benefit payments increased to about $55.4 billion in 2007, a 2% increase over the prior year.
The modest growth in medical and indemnity benefits was influenced by a 10% decline in cash benefit payments made in California because of reforms the state enacted in 2003 and 2004, the Washington-based NASI said.
Nationwide, the $55.4 billion in benefits provided during 2007, the latest year with complete data, includes $27.2 billion spent on medical care, which is a 3.3% increase from the prior year. Wage replacement benefits increased 0.8% over the prior year to $28.3 billion.
Meanwhile, insured and self-insured employers across the country spent $85 million on workers comp expenses, including insurance premiums, NASI said.
NASI is a nonprofit organization made up of industry experts on social insurance. Its report is available at www.nasi.org.