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L&I: Benefits of Medical Only Claims

For most employers, when a work-related injury is reported, instant dread sinks in. You can almost see your L&I premiums go up.
Let's shed a little light on some uncommonly known information. Most WTA Group Retro members know this, but it's generally well known. Claims with medical only costs may not impact your rates. WHAT?! How can this be, you may ask… well, here are the facts:
  • Claims that incur medical only costs – no wage benefits or PPD award – are eligible for L&I's medical only deduction. This deduction is automatically applied to the claim costs, you don't need to do a thing!
  • The medical only deduction increases each year, as the cost of services naturally increase. For 2018, the medical deduction is $2,820.
  • This means that the first $2,820 of the claim costs are covered by L&I! You, the employer, will be charged anything past that amount.
    • Example: A claim has $3,000 in medical only costs. $180 will be charged to the company, as the rest is picked up by L&I.
This is such a great benefit, because it allows employers to encourage their employees to seek first aid treatment and doctor evaluations without the initial worry of a hit to their L&I account. In doing so, you're also showing your employees that you value their health and well-being.

As the employer, use these small claims to test your toes in the waters of light duty and kept on salary, if you aren't using one or the other already. And, as always, let us know if you need help!
 
 You can find additional information on claim calculations and medical only deductions on the Washington State Legislature website: http://app.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=296-17-855