TEA: Volume 18 (2022)

TEA.18.0 – 2022. The Earnings Analyst 18: 144pp.

TEA.18.1 – CMS Health Care Price Projections and Issues for Damages Experts, Updated for 2021-2030. Joseph I. Rosenberg  and Sean P. Keehan.  This article is an update from one published in 2019. It includes the latest historical data and methodologies, leading to new health care price projections.  Economic damages experts have the difficult task of forecasting health care price inflation, especially for life care plans. This paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of two commonly used methods of forecasting the price of health care goods and services: One directly uses the 10-year price projections from the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS); the other is to forecast future price increases based on historical health care data embedded within the Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Here, CMS and BLS health care price indexes are mapped together, definitional differences are examined, direct out-of-pocket spending is segregated from insurance-related spending, and the historical price growth rates are compared and analyzed.

TEA.18.2 – Estimating the Loss of Social Security Benefits James Rodgers.

One of the legally-mandated fringe benefits provided to virtually all U.S. workers is coverage under the Old Age, Survivors, Disability and Health Insurance (OASDHI) system, commonly known as “Social Security.” When a worker is wrongfully terminated, injured or killed, forensic economic experts often value the loss of these benefits using the employer’s share of the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) tax (currently 7.65%) levied on estimated lost earnings; or, excluding the 1.45% Medicare portion of this tax, at 6.2% of estimated lost earnings. Because the Social Security system is so complex, the simplicity of this “FICA tax method” of valuing lost Social Security benefits is very appealing. Unfortunately, this valuation method is unlikely to correctly measure losses vis-à-vis the Social Security system. Following a review of some of the related forensic literature, this author estimates the size of the measurement error arising from using the FICA tax method for death cases. The magnitude of the error is exposed by first describing how to estimate the true financial losses of Social Security retirement benefits that result from a loss of earnings, and then by showing that the FICA tax method gives an accurate estimate of these losses in only a minuscule portion of the situations where forensic economists are called upon to supply damage appraisals. Examples illustrating the quantitative size of the errors that result from using the FICA tax method are shown.

TEA.18.3 – Exploring the Possibility of Worklife Expectancies for Specific Disabilities. James Rodgers.  This paper is a preliminary exploration into the possibility or lack thereof for deriving worklife expectancies for persons with specific disabilities. Such an inquiry seems warranted and a natural next step in view of recent work by Skoog and Toppino (1999). This work criticized the disability worklife expectancy tables produced by Vocational Econometrics and Anthony M. Gamboa, Jr. of Vocational Econometrics, Inc. (VEI) (1998), hereinafter, “the Tables.”

TEA.18.4 – In Memoriam – Jim Rodgers, Rick Gaskin, and Herb Burkman.

TEA.18.5 – Practice Notes:  William F. Landsea, Woman’s Work is Never Done. Don’t Leave Half Your Client’s Damage Money on the Table