Md. Workers’ Comp Payments Outpace U.S. Average, Study Says

July 22, 2005

In Maryland, total workers’ compensation payments for injured workers’ cash benefits and medical care rose by 9.4 percent to $628.5 million in 2003, according to a report by the National Academy of Social Insurance. Nationally, workers’ compensation payments grew by 3.2 percent to $54.9 billion in 2003, the latest year for which national data are available.

Over the four years ending in 2003, Maryland spending for medical care grew somewhat more than cash benefits to replace workers’ lost wages. Figure 1 shows the trend in workers’ compensation spending per $100 of aggregate payroll for Maryland workers. From 2000 to 2003, payments for workers’ compensation medical treatment rose from 25 cents to 28 cents per $100 of payroll, while cash benefits were 42 cents per $100 of payroll in both 2000 and 2003.

For the nation as a whole, workers’ compensation payments for medical treatment outpaced payments for cash benefits to injured workers. Between 2000 and 2003, national spending for workers’ compensation medical care rose from 45 cents to 54 cents per $100 of national payroll, while payments for cash benefits rose slightly from 59 to 62 cents per $100 of national payroll.

The report, Workers’ Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 2003, is the eighth in a NASI series that provides the only comprehensive national data on this largely state-run program. The study provides estimates of workers’ compensation payments — cash and medical — for each state, the District of Columbia, and the federal programs providing workers’ compensation benefits.

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