As of January 20, 2017, Donald Trump is officially the President of the United States, and with a new administration comes a host of changes to existing policies. Healthcare, for instance, is expected to undergo a major transformation. This means that St. Louis worker’s compensation attorneys will likely evolve over the next four years as well. Even in the last few years, worker’s compensation policies have been gravitating toward value-based models that lower costs, focusing on the long-term health of covered employees. So the question is, what should we expect in the years to come? Worker’s compensation policies are determined by individual states, but federal actions always have impacts on state decisions.
More Free-Market Solutions
With Trump’s administration placing more emphasis on value-based care, experts anticipate that the individual and employer mandates enacted by the Affordable Care Act will be replaced by free-market solutions. This involves the traditional underwriting processes common before the ACA was implemented, as well as selling healthcare across state lines. Health savings accounts have also been touted by Republicans as a necessity. All of this means that worker’s compensation premiums may actually decrease, but it’s yet to be determined what the acquisition of healthcare will look like.
More or Less Cost–Shifting?
It is believed that the Affordable Care Act minimized cost-shifting because it provided more than 20 million people with health insurance who did not have it previously. With ACA health coverage, these people were less likely to attempt to pass off non-job related injuries as occupational injuries, because they had complete coverage even without worker’s compensation. With President Trump’s desire to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, this leaves the healthcare community wondering what will happen to cost-shifting. It can be said that the ACA also reduced occupational injuries and illnesses by providing prevention services at little to no costs. In fact, these wellness initiatives are estimated to reduce employers’ medical costs by more than $3 for every dollar spent.
Given these components, plus Trump’s promise of heavy construction in the future–a call for very high-risk jobs with high injury rates–determining the path of worker’s compensation over the next few years will ultimately be a waiting game. For more information, speak with an experience st louis attorney law firm today.