Oakland, CA – Oakland, CA – After increasing in 2017 and 2018, California workers’ compensation private self-insured claim frequency was relatively stable in 2019 as the incidence of medical-only and lost-time claims registered only marginal declines according to a California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) review of the latest data compiled by the state Office of Self-Insurance Plans (OSIP).
Initial results for 2019 show the number of new claims reported by the state’s private self-insured employers rose 2.4% last year as the pre-pandemic economic boom resulted in record employment. Medical and indemnity payments on those claims through the end of the year totaled $252.8 million, or 6% more than the comparable figure for 2018 claims. Meanwhile, the initial incurred losses (paid benefits plus reserves for future payments) on 2019 claims totaled $694 million, up $35.4 million, or 5.1 percent more than the initial incurred amount reported for 2018 claims, reflecting the higher claim volume, a 1.0% increase in average incurred medical, and a 6.2% increase in the average incurred indemnity.
The OSIP initial summary of private self-insured data, issued June 29, offers the first snapshot of California private, self-insured claims experience for cases reported in 2019, showing medical-only and indemnity claim counts as well as the total paid and incurred amounts on those claims through December 2019.
The new report summarizes the experience of private self-insured employers who covered 2.33 million employees last year (vs. 2.26 million covered employees in the first report for 2018 claims), and who reported a total of 85,852 claims in 2019 – compared to 83,873 claims in the 2018 first report. According to CWCI, that translates to a claim frequency of 3.68 claims (2.21 medical-only + 1.47 indemnity) per 100 employees, vs. 3.72 claims per 100 employees in 2018 (2.22 medical-only + 1.50 indemnity). Wages and salaries for the private self-insured employees totaled $121.1 billion in 2019, or 8.3% more than the $112.7 billion noted for in the 2018 first report.
OSIP’s 2019 summary of private self-insured experience, which reports on calendar year data, follows last December’s release of public self-insured claims data, which is reported on a fiscal year basis. Thus, the public self-insured data now lags the private self-insured data by six months, reflecting claims and losses reported through June 2019 rather than through December.
The OSIP annual summaries for both private and public self-insured claims from each of the past 19 years are posted here.
CWCI members and subscribers may also log on to the Institute’s website to view the Institute’s Bulletins on those results, which include more details and graphics.