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When New Jersey was a national hotspot for COVID-19 last spring, 35% of all worker’s compensation claims in the state were related to COVID-19, according to insurance experts. Now many employers may be wondering how this will affect their future worker’s compensation insurance premiums.

At a recent NJBIA webinar, insurance experts discussed two recent changes to worker’s compensation benefits affecting public safety workers and essential employees, and whether COVID-related claims for medical expenses and lost wages will have an impact on an employer’s experience modification factor – the calculation used to help determine premiums.

“If there’s one thing that you should take away from today is that COVID-related claims will not be factored into an employer’s experience modification factor,” attorney Ann DeBellis, director of NJM’s Workers Compensation Legal Department, told NJBIA members on April 22.

Only 25% of all worker’s compensation claims in New Jersey during 2020 were for medical expenses, with the remainder seeking reimbursement of lost wages, said Kim Ziegler, NJM vice president of Medical Services. Employees of healthcare sector businesses, such as hospitals and nursing homes, were the largest source (64%) of COVID-19 worker’s compensation claims in New Jersey, she said.

To learn more about the interplay of the different New Jersey laws related to worker’s compensation, COVID-19, and first responders and essential employees, view the webinar here.