Hospice Workers' Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical costs and lost wages for work‐related injuries and illnesses. This policy is required in almost every state for businesses that have employees. Without coverage, an employee can sue an employer if they are injured or get sick due to a work‐related incident. Employees in Hospices also require workers’ compensation insurance due to the nature of their jobs.
Why Workers' Compensation Insurance
Hospice care, which is also known as end‐of‐life care, is a crucial and sensitive component of home health care where providers offer a range of services including medical care, spiritual resources, and emotional support for individuals in advanced stages of terminal illnesses. In the course of their work, hospice care providers are exposed to multiple risks and potential liabilities.
They face the standard employee claims such as an injury on the job, exposure to an unsanitary or unsafe work environment, or exposure to blood‐borne pathogens. It is reported that the injury rates for homecare and hospice workers are 50% higher than in hospitals. As a result, home care and hospice providers face some of the highest workers’ compensation costs in the nation.
These increased daily risks make workers’ compensation a necessity for Hospice employees.
Common Injuries Experienced by Employees
Providing direct care to patients in a hospice is a strenuous activity for workers. Many of these patients require assistance with their physical mobility. This places the healthcare provider at risk for occupational injury.
Direct care workers at a Hospice provide treatment for sick, disabled, or elderly patients and can be injured by a fall or by overexertion when repositioning their clients. This could lead to serious musculoskeletal injuries that may cause pain and require long‐term care.
Some of the most common injuries in these cases are strains, sprains, tears, soreness, and pain. One study suggested direct care workers could almost be expected to have higher injury rates due to the nature of the job.
The Consequences of Not Having Workers' Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance is required by law. If workers’ compensation is not included in your business insurance policy, your business runs the risk of facing a lawsuit or criminal charges. These risk factors aside, the biggest reason to consider workers’ compensation is that your Hospice would be responsible for paying all the damages for injuries sustained by employees at work. This could cause you to lose your business depending on the severity of the claims.
Workers Compensation Required Limits
The limits on a workers’ compensation insurance policy include employee benefits and employer liability. The employee benefits portion of the policy covers medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and death benefits to the employee’s dependents. Employee benefits do not usually have limits or exclusions.
Employers’ liability limits are defined within each insurance policy. Business owners may choose to increase the limits for coverage. Each state sets the minimum required coverage limits. Legal, statutory liability limits in most states are:
– $100,000 per occurrence for bodily injuries
– $100,000 per employee for bodily injury by occupational disease
– $500,000 policy limit for bodily injuries by disease
The Benefits of A Workers Compensation Policy
Workers’ compensation exists to address any employee‐related liabilities and can pay for medical care costs, physical therapy, and any legal fees incurred when handling claims by clients. If an employee at your Hospice cannot return to work for weeks, months, or longer because they have suffered a serious injury, the coverage will pay for any necessary hospital or rehabilitation costs as well as the lost wages.
Besides the temporary disability coverage, workers’ compensation insurance also includes permanent disability coverage that provides the injured employee with compensation for hospital expenses and lost wages associated with permanent disability that renders the person unable to resume work.
If the employee can perform a different job, workers’ compensation insurance can pay for training in another career. In the unfortunate event that the employee loses his or her life on the job, the coverage will compensate the beneficiaries with death benefits.
The Common Workers' Compensation Class Code(s) Used
A class code is assigned by the National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) or by state agencies based on the activities of the occupation.
There are many different workers’ comp class codes within the hospice segment. Below are a few of the most common class codes in the industry.
Code 8832: Hospices – Professional Employees
The Cost of A Workers' Compensation Policy
Workers’ compensation premiums are calculated by the kinds of work performed. Because workers’ compensation insurance is regulated on the state level, the cost of a policy depends on where your employees are located. Companies with more employees and risks pay more for workers’ compensation. This cost is also calculated according to an employee’s salary and the company’s claims history. The cost of the coverage can range from $700 to $10,000 annually depending on the factors mentioned.
Hospice care agencies fulfill a vital role in the home health care industry, and they are exposed to various risks that can cripple operations, from injured staff to lawsuits. Getting the right workers’ compensation insurance for your employees can help reduce significant risks and grant you the peace of mind to focus on the aspects of your business that are important to you.
UnderWrite Insurance Services is a national insurance agency that provides A-rated workers’ compensation insurance to cover hospices’ employees. For a free insurance quote, submit an application below or give us a call at 201-580-6806.