Data Confirms Obesity Increases Claims Duration

This new NCCI study and the Duke study from several years ago once again point out the importance of wellness programs and the significant cost increase for workers' compensation involving severly obese workers when they are injured over injured workers that are not obese. And under the new Utilization and Treatment Guidelines implemented in Montana, many co-morbid conditions that pre-exist an injury must be considered for treatment (and paid for) by the WC claim to the point that the worker has returned to baseline condition, with one case holding that the pre-existing condition was worsened by the workplace OD and therefore covered under WC. The impact of obese injured workers will tend to raise the total cost of self-insured WC programs in the future as the rate of obesity continues to increase.

Mike Marsh

Midland Claims Service, Inc.

Industrial Injury Claims™

(406) 656-9960


From: National Council of Self-Insurers

Monday, July 16, 2012 7:37 AM

Data Confirms Obesity Increases Claims Duration


Members of National Council of Self-Insurers:

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has released research that says the duration of workers’ compensation indemnity benefits paid to the most severely obese workers is more than five times greater than claimants who are not obese but filed comparable claims.

NCCI examined claims provided by insurance companies, operating in forty states to reach its conclusions. The data will help employers and insurers better manage the costs related to these claims.

NCCI’s findings are close to those in a Duke University Medical School study of 2007. This research determined that obese workers file more claims, have higher medical costs and miss more workdays due to job-related injuries than do their non-obese counterparts.

It is important to note that NCCI’s results apply to employees who are among the most severely obese, which is similar to the Duke findings.

Evidence of the effects of obesity on medical costs has been the large increase in hip and knee replacements among the 45 to 65-year-olds during the last decade. Previously, most replacements occurred in the 65 to 84-year-old age group.

The above was taken from an article in Business Insurance, written by Roberto Ciniceros, Senior Editor.