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Moore: Health Index Reveals Workers' Comp Problem

  • National

A probable workers' comp problem was uncovered this week. Sometimes you come across articles and numbers by accident. This happened to me over a recent weekend.

James Moore

James Moore

One of my web browsers (Opera) highlighted a few articles based on my recent searches. I clicked on the article and found a few startling facts about the level of health in the U.S. that I inferred to possibly be a workers' comp problem.

If you look down the page at the graphics, you will see what could be a workers' comp problem area. The U.S. ranks 35th in the world regarding the level of health we maintain for ourselves. What??? The U.S. was so far down on the page that I could not fit all the rankings in this article.

How I made the connection

In the world of workers' comp, you get the injured employees as you hire them — preexisting conditions and the employee’s mindset. If we rank 35th for 2023 (post-pandemic), then PREEXISTING should be capitalized and in bold letters.

Every workers' comp worker, especially claims adjusters, has heard the term “aggravation of a preexisting condition.” If the U.S. ranks at 35th, that tallies at a huge number of preexisting conditions that can be aggravated, becoming a workers' comp problem.

For reference, the U.S. is ranked lower than many third-world countries.

Wow! I said wait, let’s break that down further. We need to regionalize that number.   Looking at the comparison of the Americas, the U.S. is fifth behind Mexico, Canada, Ecuador and Argentina.

You can check with Numbeo to see how it calculates the numbers. It even gives out the algorithm used (transparency).

Hiring can result in workers' comp problem

I would never discourage hiring anyone with a known preexisting condition. Judging from the charts, one can see the unknown conditions amplifying the risks, not the known ones.

Do these numbers portend a future problem? One would have to say the workers' comp problem exists today and will in the future.

This blog post is provided by James Moore, AIC, MBA, ChFC, ARM, and is republished with permission from J&L Risk Management Consultants. Visit the full website at

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