The Role of a Return-to-Work Program in Managing Workers’ Compensation Costs

Written By Charlotte Insurance on July 2, 2023. It has 0 comments.

The Role of a Return-to-Work Program in Managing Workers' Compensation Costs

Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to pay not only for your employees’ medical care and expenses after they were injured on the job, but it also covers their salary as they go through the rehabilitation process. As you might expect, this can be rather expensive, especially for the more debilitating injuries. Your workers’ compensation insurance rates will go up in order to compensate for this.

Thankfully, there’s a solution: a return-to-work program. These programs are designed to help employees get back into the workplace sooner, allowing you to cross-train them on easier jobs that they can handle with their injuries. The less that they rely on workers’ compensation for a paycheck, the better your overall insurance rates will be. So, in the end, it’s a win-win situation.

How Workers’ Compensation Usually Works

When your employees get injured on the job, your workers’ compensation insurance kicks in and pays for their medical expenses. This may include things like surgeries, splinting and casting, and even occupational or physical therapy, based on the injury. The insurance also pays for the salary that they’re missing out on by not being able to work. Usually, this is at a reduced rate from their usual compensation, so it helps, but doesn’t cover everything. This amount is paid out regularly until the employee goes back to work.

With a Return-to-Work Program

Return-to-work programs are designed to get injured employees back on the job sooner. They end up doing modified work around their injury, such as a desk job if they have a broken leg. The program allows them to leave the workplace for their therapy appointments, keeping things flexible. This not only prevents them from relying solely on their workers’ compensation payments, but also gives their self-esteem a boost, as they get to do something other than relax and heal all day.

Putting Together a Return-to-Work Program

A standard return-to-work program consists of several different components, including:

  • Who is Eligible – Obviously, your employees who are injured make it onto this list. However, you do need to be more specific than that. What does their job consist of? What type of injuries do they have? You need to spell everything out when planning this part of the program.
  • When Do They Enter and Exit the Program – There should be criteria as far as entering the return-to-work program is concerned. Your injured workers need to be on the mend and released to do transitional work by their doctors at the very least. In addition, you need to spell out when they can exit the program as well. Usually, this happens when their doctor releases them to return to full duty.
  • What the Transitional Work Consists of – Your injured employee may not be able to go back to their old job right away. They’ll need to do some other type of work in the meantime. Your program needs to include the options available.

With a solid return-to-work program in place, your employees can get back to work sooner and your workers’ compensation insurance premiums may decrease, which is music to any employer’s ears.

Have Questions? Contact Charlotte Insurance

Want to learn more about how a return-to-work program could benefit your company? Contact Charlotte Insurance. Our agents can explore and explain all available options to you and put together the coverage plan that you need.

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