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Workers compensation benefit costs rose 3.5% nationwide in 2011 compared with 2010 as the economy improved, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Academy of Social Insurance.
Injured workers received $60.2 billion in workers comp benefits in 2011, the latest year statistics were available, according to Washington-based NASI. That figure included a 4.5% increase in medical spending and a 2.6% increase in wage replacement benefits over 2010.
Employer costs related to comp claims, including benefit payments and administration costs, increased 7.1% in 2011 over 2010 to $77.1 billion, the NASI report said.
However, the organization noted that employer costs have been lower from 2009 to 2011 than at any other point in the past 30 years.
The rising costs reflect an increase in employment and wages, NASI said. The report also noted that work-related injuries and illnesses have been on the decline for several years.
Mid-market employers are expressing increased interest in total absence management programs to help them administer different types of occupational and nonoccupational disability leave while using integrated data to create healthier workplaces.