RTW Case Study: Impact of Employer Size

DMEC Staff@Work

Impact of Employer Size on STD Claims for Mental and Musculoskeletal Conditions

STD Musculoskeletal ClaimsBy Michael Klachefsky


To more deeply explore the analysis around employer size provided in the feature article in this issue of @Work, we investigated mental health (MH) and musculoskeletal (MSK) condition claims to further understand the impact of employer size. Using a data set with both insured and self-insured STD plans that are outsourced to a carrier or administrator,1 we examined these conditions in STD because, among all employers, MSK and MH conditions both rank in the top four for payments per closed claim and percent of closed claims (a proxy for incidence). In addition, MSK medical insurance claims have had the second-highest spending growth between 2000-2013.2

Figure 1 below shows the differences between the larger employer and the smaller employer groups. We chose the 20,000 threshold because the number of claims was similar above and below the threshold although the number of employers in each category differed greatly.

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