Report: Texas Work Comp Insurers See More than 44K COVID-19 Claims by Mid-February
An updated report on workers’ compensation claims in Texas related to COVID-19 shows that as of Feb, 14, 2021, insurance carriers reported more than 44,000 COVID-19 claims and 200 fatalities to the state’s workers’ compensation division.
The report, COVID-19 in the Texas Workers’ Compensation System, was released in March by the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation. A previous report, released in late 2020, showed workers’ comp insurers had reported more than 25,000 virus claims as of June 30, 2020. The reports are based on data calls issued to workers’ comp carriers by the DWC.
The DWC report shows that the number of COVID-19 claims began to increase starting in March 2020. Claims began to decline in mid-April as Texas began reopening efforts, started surging in June, and continued to increase until mid-July. Claims began to decline again in mid-July through September then started to increase again in October and continued through December. Claims started declining again in January 2021.
Nearly half of the reported COVID-19 claims and fatalities involve first responders and correctional officers.
Highlights of the report include:
- The majority (58%) of claims involved injured employees who tested positive or were diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Data call results show insurance carriers accepted almost half (49%) of COVID-19 positive test claims.
- Despite more than 10,000 denials of COVID-19 claims with positive tests or diagnoses, there were only 45 disputes filed with DWC as of Feb. 14, 2021.
- For COVID-19 claims, most of the benefits paid were indemnity benefits (particularly employer salary continuation), compared to medical benefits.
The majority (60%) of the state’s COVID-19 cases were concentrated in 10 counties as of Feb. 14, 2021. Likewise, the majority (56%) of the state’s COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims were concentrated in these same 10 counties.
Nearly half (46%) of the COVID-19 claims involved first responders and correctional officers and slightly more than half (54%) of claims were processed by the State of Texas and its political subdivisions acting as insurance carriers.
As of Feb. 14, 2021, insurance carriers reported 200 COVID-19 fatal claims to DWC. Nearly half (47%) of fatal workers’ compensation claims were concentrated in the same 10 counties where the most COVID-19 cases and claims were reported. Nearly half (47%) of the COVID-19 fatal claims involved first responders and correctional officers and half (50%) of fatal claims were processed by the State of Texas and its political subdivisions.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the fatal claims involved injured employees who were 50 or more years of age, and three-quarters (76%) of the fatal claims involved males.
Source: Texas DWC