Insurance Insiders' View of Workers' Compensation Where the market is going in the next three years

The economy and the economics of labor is moving towards more independent contractors and fewer employees. Health benefits, and who pays for them, is leading the way.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) demands all citizens purchase health insurance. What is uncertain is the interface between the ACA benefits and expenses related to on the job injuries.

Combine the at-demand employment economy, for example drivers, with confusion over the line between personal healthcare and corporate responsibility and the result is chaos in the marketplace.

Internet companies dispatch individual drivers to provide rides for customers in a "ride-sharing" or "carpooling" arrangement and "costs are shared". What happens in an accident with injuries?

The individual drivers do not have workers' compensation; does the service company provide that protection? The company's position is ride sharing, not a business, not a for hire context.
If a passenger is injured, certainly the driver will go with the ride sharing context or their personal insurance will deny the claim based on the livery service exclusion.

These conditions lead us to the ACA coverage everyone is commanded to carry. This coverage will become truly universal in the future as more independent contractors are used. Medical claims will become a more "no fault" coverage.

In addition to drivers, part-time on-demand help is used now through internet applications to increase labor during the peak hours of need for business.

This peak-time labor force is paid by the hour as contract labor. This labor force does not carry workers' compensation or general liability. But hourly wages is one of the tests to determine the difference between independent contract status and employment.

Decide how your company will treat peak-hour labor. Paying piece work may be your solution.

Universal medical insurance presages a no fault attitude toward medical claims. Social security may become the default disability provider with only short-term disability and occupational rehabilitation left for the employer to pay.

As traditional payrolls decrease, premium rates will increase unless relief is provided for the medical aspect of workers' compensation. The future points to universal health coverage to include workers' compensation. 

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