In a state where the number of new malpractice cases is skyrocketing, the cost of insurance coverage for people who die in a workplace has risen exponentially.
But even though the state has the lowest death toll per capita of any state, a new study shows the costs of insurance to those who do die in the workplace can be astronomical.
“I can’t imagine going to the insurance company and saying, ‘You guys have a malpractice policy that I want to pay out, and I don’t want to do that,'” said Lisa Krumholz, who worked in the insurance industry before starting her own practice.
The study by Florida State University economist James C. Stumpf found that, after adjusting for factors like cost, medical costs and death, workers who die on the job are at the highest risk of receiving insurance coverage.
But Krumholez said that isn’t necessarily the case.
“I don’t think they’re paying attention to their costs, because we’re talking about death in the workplace, not just in the hospital,” she said.
“We’re not talking about the financial ramifications of having an injury, or the financial implications of having to go through the trial and be back in the office,” said Krumholes, who has also been a medical malologist for 20 years.
“They’re talking to themselves.
They’re not paying attention.
They have no idea,” she added.
In fact, the average Florida worker would have to pay nearly $8,000 in medical bills for the full year of their work.
“That’s going to be more than people will have to spend on insurance, including funeral costs, funeral expenses,” Krumbos said.
Stumpf’s study found that for a family of four, a family doctor will spend $15,000 on treatment for a person’s death, and $3,000 for a patient who died while on dialysis.
The medical bills will amount to $11,500 per person per year.
In contrast, for a single adult, the medical bills would be only $5,000.
The researchers found that the average person with a family member who dies in the workforce will receive $3.7 million in medical coverage, which equates to $1,717 per person.
And that’s before subtracting the amount paid to the worker’s parents, spouses and other family members, or $2,300 per person for funeral expenses.
That leaves the average worker with about $7,000 per year in medical benefits.
In addition, the insurance companies pay for some of the costs associated with treatment and death.
For example, they pay a large part of the cost for a life insurance policy to a family, so they can offset the loss of income if the policy is cancelled.
And they cover the costs for the burial of a worker’s spouse, even though it will likely result in a significant increase in the family’s medical bills.
“It’s not an ideal situation,” Krauch said.
“But there are some very good options for people in those situations.”
For more information on Florida’s unemployment rate, visit our Unemployment rate calculator.