Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA) gets its MiScorecard and it shows no changes in the last year.
Governor Rick Snyder created Michigan Dashboard to provide a snapshot assessment of state government agencies. It is supposed to show progress and areas for additional improvement. We have been critical of this tool because of the metrics used and the missing human component.
The WCA has now received its MiScorecard for reporting period January 2017 and it shows no changes. Metrics for cost per claim (11.5% growth), premium ranking (34 of 50), percentage of electronic data compliance filings (26.5%), and duration of temporary disability (16 weeks) remain the same.
Interestingly, the pure premium rate has been projected to drop by an average of 9.3% in 2017. This number has declined almost 40% since 2011 resulting in estimated business savings of $390 million. These premium savings come at the expense of disabled workers who have found their benefits slashed. Here are some additional metrics that we would like to see included in MiScoreard.
1. Percentage of claimants who saw their wage loss benefits reduced by Post Injury Wage Earning Capacity (PIWEC). This is when the employer/insurance carrier says a disabled employee can find other work but provides no alternative job. This controversial provision was adopted as part of the 2011 workers’ compensation reform efforts and the number of people impacted is staggering.
2. Percentage of claimants receiving less than 138% of federal poverty level. Can a person survive and support his or her family on what is being paid under Michigan workers’ compensation? We had one client see his weekly checks slashed from $481.08 to just $19 per week based upon PIWEC.
3. Percentage of claimants who received an open award of benefits. This is when a magistrate orders payment of continuing wage loss and medical. Changes to Michigan law in 2011 have made the burden of proof so difficult that many cannot win. Workers’ compensation is remedial social legislation that should grant rather than deny benefits.
4. Percent of medical costs shifted to other payers like Medicaid, Medicare, and group health insurance. Cost shifting raises health insurance premiums and taxes for everyone.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.