While the average national increase in total workers’ compensation benefits paid out between 1999 to 2008 for the 50 states and the District of Columbia was 45 percent, the increase in benefits paid out by Kentucky grew by nearly 62 percent, according to data from the National Academy of Social Insurance.
The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, which used the data to rank states, reported that Kentucky ranked No. 15 in the nation for the largest increase in workers’ comp benefits during that time.
OCPA suggests that reforming workers’ compensation systems by allowing open competition in the workers’-comp insurance market could help contain the growth of benefit spending:
“The four states — Michigan, Nevada, Texas, and West Virginia — that operate as the sole workers’ compensation provider and do not allow competition between the state fund and private insurance companies saw an average increase of 51.93 percent. The four states — Michigan, Nevada, Texas, and West Virginia — that have privatized or mutualized their workers’ compensation programs saw an average increase of 2.27 percent.”