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Everything You Need to Know About Worker’s Compensation

By Heather Brown
February 02, 2018

As the Baby Boomer population ages, assisted facilities are becoming a popular choice for long-term care. With more than 1 million individuals currently residing in assisted care communities, there is still a growing need for your services. The number of residents is expected to double by 2030 which means we can expect to see an increase in the number of assisted living facilities as well as caregivers across the country.

Running an assisted living facility comes with great number of responsibilities. One of the most important ones is finding the right insurance coverage. General liability, professional liability, and commercial property are just a few of the insurance policies assisted living facilities need to carry. Worker’s compensation is also a crucial coverage that every facility needs to purchase for protection.

What is Worker’s Compensation?

Worker’s compensation or worker’s comp insurance protects your business when an employee is injured doing work for your assisted living facility. The policy pays medical expenses including doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and hospital stays. It also pays the injured employee any wages if needed. Under a worker’s comp policy, employees surrender their ability to file a lawsuit against your facility.

Do You Need Worker’s Compensation?

You may think that this coverage isn’t necessary for your business. The majority of states require worker’s comp depending on the number of employees you have on staff. Even if you aren’t required to carry the insurance, it is still a good business choice.

Studies released by OSHA in 2015 sure that long-term care facilities including assisted living have higher than average employee injury rates. The private industry has a 3% reporting while the long-term sector is 6.8%. Meaning that you are twice more likely to experience workplace injury than other businesses.

The most common types of injuries include:

  • Overexertion. Care providers often perform the same repetitive actions every day which causes stress on their body. These result in musculoskeletal injuries, and, according to the CDC, they are most prominent in the healthcare industry.
  • Back injuries. Helping residents get out of bed or preventing a fall puts a great deal of strain on a caregiver’s back. If they aren’t using proper lifting techniques or aren’t prepared, it can cause significant injury.
  • Slips and Falls. Slips and falls can be caused by a variety of situations including wet floors, icy walkways, and helping residents move from one place to the next.

Even one minor injury can cause significant expenses. Having worker’s compensation insurance in place helps to minimize a financial shock when one occurs.

What Limits Do You Need to Carry?

Some states mandate a minimum amount businesses need to carry. Worker’s compensation limits are the maximum amount your policy will pay out per claim, per policy term, or per employee. The right limits vary depending on your assisted living facility, how many employees you have, and how much you can accord out of pocket if a claim occurs.

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