The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) reported more than 78,000 COVID claims and 422 fatalities as of Feb. 6, 2022.
DWC’s March report, “COVID-19 In The Texas Workers’ Compensation System,” is based on a data call with 74 selected insurance carriers.
According to the report, 48% of COVID claims and 52% of fatalities included first responders and correctional officers. 61% of claims involved injured employees who tested positive or were diagnosed with COVID. Insurance carriers accepted 52% of COVID positive test claims and denied 45% of COVID positive test claims. There were only 166 disputes filed with DWC as of Feb. 6.
Insurance carriers and employers paid approximately $55.5 million in indemnify benefits on COVID claims, including $29.8 million in employer salary continuation, $23.2 million in workers’ compensation income benefits, $2.2 million in death benefits and $292,850 in burial benefits. Political subdivisions have paid 72% of costs, while commercial insurance carriers have paid 23% and the State of Texas has paid 5%.
Carriers paid $35.1 million in medical costs on COVID claims. Hospital / facility services made up four-fifths, or $27.8 million, of medical payments. Of medical payments, 74% have been paid by political subdivisions, followed by insurance carriers at 22% and the State of Texas at 4%. About one out of five claims that received professional or hospital/facility services received these services beyond one month post-injury, the report said.
COVID claims peaked in Jan. 2022 with 11,161 reported to DWC, up from 4,492 in Dec. 2021.
The total number of workers’ compensation claims reported to DWC from Jan. 2020 through Dec. 2021 was 15% higher than the two prior years. The increase in COVID claims bucked a 20-year trend in Texas of fewer workers’ compensation claims reported each year.
More information is available on the TDI website.