Insureon Blog

Does Obamacare Affect Workers’ Comp Requirements?

8. May 2014 08:54

Team looking at a computer with one man in a hardhat

As you may have read in our previous post “When Do Small Businesses Need Workers’ Comp?” employers are often required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance. This policy helps pay for the cost of occupational injuries and diseases.

Though Workers’ Comp may seem like health insurance for employees (albeit only for workplace conditions), it’s important to know the difference – especially now that the bulk of Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act) is in place. Read on to learn whether the ACA affects Workers’ Comp.

The Short Answer: Obamacare Does Not Directly Affect Workers’ Comp

Obamacare only affects health insurance, which, as we learned in “Protecting Employees: Workers’ Comp vs. Health Insurance,” only provides coverage for non-work injuries and illnesses. This is why the healthcare reform stipulations have no direct effect on Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

The ACA does not make any changes to Workers’ Comp programs – those are still controlled and run by the state. (For more information on your state’s program, check out our guide to Workers’ Compensation Insurance laws.)

But now that everyone is required to carry health coverage, people are starting to wonder if health insurance will pay for workplace injuries and illnesses. After all, freelancers, independent contractors, and other small-business owners are typically excluded from the mandates of state Workers’ Comp laws and therefore lack coverage.

Will health insurance pay for their injuries? Probably not. Most health insurance policies exclude coverage for occupational injuries and diseases and will continue to do so. But what’s concerning some experts is the indirect affects that Obamacare may have on Workers’ Comp.

The Long Answer: Experts Predict Obamacare Will Affect Workers’ Comp

Some folks in insurance circles do think Obamacare may have (perhaps unintentional) effects on Workers’ Comp. While none of the following are a direct result of the legislation, we thought small-business owners might be interested in hearing the common speculations:

Obviously, it’s still too soon to tell if Obamacare will have any real effect on Workers’ Compensation Insurance. But as soon as the study is done and those numbers are available, you can be sure we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can learn more about this coverage by reading our Workers’ Compensation Insurance blog posts.

This post is part of an ongoing series on Workers’ Compensation Insurance and the high cost of occupational injuries. Stay tuned for more on how to handle work injury claims, adhere to state Workers’ Comp laws, and find affordable coverage!


Risk Management | Small Business | Small Business Risk Management | Tips for All Small Businesses | Workers' Compensation Insurance

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