Obesity and Workers Comp

It’s well-documented that the health consequences of overweight and obesity are serious. For example, individuals who are obese have a significantly increased risk of premature death and chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The growing economic and social costs of obesity also have direct consequences for insurers. A study out of Duke University this week focuses on the impact on workers comp insurers. It notes that obese employees lost many more workdays and filed twice as many workers comp claims as other workers. Even more concerning, the claims filed by obese workers cost nearly seven times as much as those filed by other workers. The average workers comp medical claims cost per 100 employees was $51,019 for obese workers, compared with $7,503 for other workers. Check out further information from the I.I.I. on obesity and workers comp.  

2 thoughts on “Obesity and Workers Comp”

  1. Thank you for the interesting reminder about this subject. The figures you mention demonstrate just how important it is for the insurance industry to keep an eye on this issue going forward.

  2. Great post–and great blog!

    I work for InsureMe, a Denver-based insurance lead aggregator. At InsureMe we have a volunteer, employee-run health team, which advocates exercise and healthy eating habits. The company also sponsors breakfast (sans sugar cereal, of course) every Monday.

    Employers would do well to do more than educate their workers about the consequences of obesity. By establishing a health team and setting up various fun events-—we had a walking competition last winter-—our company has been able to get everyone on the same page in a fun, non-patronizing way.

    As you eloquently put it in your post, everyone—-labor and capital-—benefits from good physical health.

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