Driving Down Workers’ Compensation Costs; Kicking High Risk Behaviors

Each year employers watch as their health care costs inflate and their Workers’ Compensation premiums trend upward asking themselves the same question “What more can we do?”  Safety programs, scheduled training and zero-tolerance drug use policies in place and costs continue to increase.  Statistics show employers are missing a major variable tied to both healthcare and workers’ compensation cost; employee health.

High risk health behaviors such as smoking, poor diet and physical inactivity attribute to 85% of Workers’ Compensation costs according to University of Michigan.  Claim costs are affected by the ability for an employee to recovery timely from and injury and return to work. Until both of those milestones happen, costs continue to rise. With the presence of these high risk health behaviors recovery or ability to return to work is impacted greatly.

Review of more than 40 published studies indicates that on average, workplace wellness programs reduce worker’s compensation costs by 30%.  Understanding your organizations’ needs is vital to successfully implementing a workplace wellness program. Challenge programs, educational sessions and corporate campaigns are all positive steps towards creating awareness but difficult to measure return on investment.  When developing a wellness program it is important to use the following as a quideline:

  • Outcome based, using objective data
  • Clear cut scoring and measurement
  • Carrier independence
  • Meaningful incentives for participation
  • Full spectrum support
  • Individual and executive reporting


For more information regarding Workers’ Compensation and Wellness contact  your Kapnick Insurance Group representative, visit www.kapnick.com or contact Amy DeKeyser, Risk Services Coordinator at amy.dekeyser@kapnick.com.