Workers compensation can be a source of health coverage in cases where an injury or illness is caused by your work, or if a condition is made worse by your work. It is important to be aware of workers compensation benefits, since in many cases health plans will not pay for job-related injuries or illnesses.
Government oversight for workers compensation is at the state level, usually with a Bureau of Labor or Workers Compensation Agency. There is no federal bureau with responsibility for the administration of workers compensation programs. As a result, particulars of how workers compensation works vary by state. We've included links to each state bureau with jurisdiction for workers compensation.
Works compensation includes more than health insurance. In fact, a slight majority of work comp benefits paid are in the form of cash disability payments. Since a legitimate workers comp claim always involves some form of medical care, however, the health coverage component is a significant portion of the overall workers comp expenditure.
Employers pay the premiums for workers comp coverage. The rates they pay can vary widely and are usually paid as a percentage of wages or salary. Rates obviously have to take into account the likelihood of job-related injury or illness. The typical premium cost for a sawmill worker, for example, is likely to be 100 times higher than for an accountant.
Some employers are exempt from providing workers comp coverage for their company. These are rare circumstances, usually in the case of single-proprietor or family businesses, and farms who hire a very small number of seasonal workers for short periods of time. A common guideline in many states is that any employer with three or more full-time employees must provide workers comp insurance. For specific regulations, however, refer to your state workers comp authority.