An updated report on workers’ compensation claims in Texas related to COVID-19 shows that insurance carriers had reported more than 44,000 COVID-19 claims and 200 fatalities to the state’s workers’ compensation division as of Feb. 14, 2021.
The report, COVID-19 in the Texas Workers’ Compensation System, was released in March by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation. A previous report, issued in late 2020, showed workers’ comp insurers had reported more than 25,000 virus claims as of June 30, 2020. The reports are based on carriers’ responses to data calls issued by DWC.
The number of Texas workers’ comp COVID-19 claims started building in March 2020 but began to decline in mid-April. They surged again in June and continued to increase until mid-July. Claims began to decline again in mid-July through September but increased again October through December. Claims started declining again in January 2021.
Nearly half of the reported COVID-19 claims and fatalities involved first responders and correctional officers.
Highlights of the report include:
- The majority (58%) of claims involved injured employees who tested positive or were diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Insurance carriers accepted 49% of COVID-19 positive test claims.
- Despite more than 10,000 denials of COVID-19 claims with positive tests or diagnoses, only 45 disputes had been filed with DWC as of Feb. 14, 2021.
- Most of the COVID-19 claim benefits paid were indemnity benefits, compared to medical benefits.
- The majority (60%) of the state’s COVID-19 cases were concentrated in 10 counties. Likewise, 56% of the state’s COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims were concentrated in those same 10 counties.
- Nearly half (46%) of the COVID-19 claims involved first responders and correctional officers and 54% of claims were processed by the State of Texas and its political subdivisions acting as insurance carriers.
- As of Feb. 14, insurance carriers reported 200 COVID-19 fatal claims to DWC. Nearly half (47%) of fatal workers’ comp claims were concentrated in the 10 counties where the most COVID-19 cases and claims were reported. Nearly half (47%) of the COVID-19 fatal claims involved first responders and correctional officers; 50% of fatal claims were processed by the State of Texas and its political subdivisions.
- Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the fatal claims involved injured employees who were 50 or older; 76% of the fatal claims involved males.
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