The workers' compensation system in place today has not dramatically changed since it was created over 100 years ago. State legislatures spend inordinate amounts of time each year chipping away at one edge of a program while patching up another. In the end, one interest group wins and another loses, but the injured worker gains little benefit.

Everyone can agree that employees need protection and assistance for workplace injuries, but there isn't enough agreement about what role the true stakeholders—employees and employers—should play in an occupational injury benefit program and management of those injuries.

Approximately 25 years ago, Texas employers began moving away from traditional workers' compensation insurance and "nonsubscribed" from the mandate. Employers choosing nonsubscription build and manage their own occupational-injury benefit programs with benefits and medical management processes that are clearly communicated to their employees. In Texas, one-third of all employers are covered by nonsubscription, or what we call the "Texas Option."

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