Do Texas injury benefit programs reduce cost shifting of occupational injury costs to government programs?


  • Texas injury benefit programs to workers’ compensation are saving money for federal and state governments not costing them money.
  • Cost shifting to government programs happens when employees are dissatisfied and not getting good medical outcomes. The vast majority of cost shifting relates to whether the employer or the government is paying medical and wage replacement costs on injury claims. Over two decades of experience and data on Texas injury benefit programs and over two years of data on Oklahoma Option programs, indicate that these programs deliver superior medical outcomes and replace more lost wages for injured workers than workers’ compensation systems. This reality is further supported by the fact that, in comparison to workers’ compensation programs, fewer injured workers covered by Texas injury benefit programs hire lawyers or file claim disputes.
  • Also, the injury benefit programs for most large employers have been amended in recent years to make clear that the injury benefit program is the employee’s primary source of recovery.
  • Public policy discussions can start with high level reviews of a few injury claims and benefit levels. But serious, objective data analysis is needed on medical outcomes for injured workers, how many claims are disputed and which system is shifting more cost to government programs. We are confident that analysis will demonstrate that Texas injury benefit program employers and their insurance companies are bearing much more of the cost of occupational injuries than is seen in workers’ compensation systems.