Cam Mustard, Institute for Work & Health, Toronto, Canada
Objective: This study examined trends over time in workers' compensation benefit expenditures for work-related conditions among employees in the long-term care sectors in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. The study had a specific focus on examining the influence of insurance premium experience rating programs in the two provinces on trends in the incidence of workers' compensation claims and trends in benefits expenditures.
Methods: Compensation claim records for lost-time and no-lost-time claims were obtained for employees of long-term care facilities in British Columbia (N=129) and Ontario (N=419). Annual measures of benefit expenditures per 100 full-time equivalents were derived for each long-term care facility in the sample. Annual measures of each facility's status under the provincial experience rating program were also obtained. In both provinces, facilities were classified to one of three groups (low, medium and high claim incidence) on the basis of six consecutive observation years.
Results: The design of the experience rating program in British Columbia contained a number of elements that resulted in a general stable assessment outcome for individual facilities over time. In contrast, program design in Ontario resulted in an assessment outcome that was variable and less predictable over time. Characteristics of a facility's experience rating classification more consistently discriminated average benefit expenditure over time in British Columbia than in Ontario.
Conclusion: In this sector, experience rating appears to accomplish the objective of equity, particularly in British Columbia. There is only limited evidence that experience rating influences the incidence of work-related conditions or the duration of work disability episodes.
Authors: Cam Mustard, Peter Smith, Emile Tompa, Jeremy Petch, Chris McLeod and Mieke Koehoorn