Last week, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer announced a proposal to again reduce overall rate levels for private employers beginning July 1, 2015. The 10.8% reduction proposed to the board of directors is projected to save private employers $153 million in annual premiums. As Ohio Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Andrew Doehrel said, that’s “not chicken feed.”
Buehrer’s proposal, if adopted, is the latest in a string of cuts that will bring private employer rate levels to 21.4% lower than the rate levels in effect January 1, 2011. The board of directors is set to vote on the proposal during its next meeting on February 27.
While the Bureau cautioned that the proposed reduction is an overall statewide average and the actual premium paid by individual private employers will depend on a number of factors (i.e. expected future costs in their industry segment, their recent claims history, and their participation in various premium credit and savings programs), we still see this as another boon for businesses in Ohio. As Ohio continues to pursue cost-cutting measures such as BWC rate reductions, Ohio’s business climate will continue to improve, allowing employers to expand and create jobs, and attracting new businesses.
Update 2/17/2015: The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors approved the 10.8% overall reduction rate. Read the release below. More BWC rate reductions will continue to help Ohio employers to save money, create jobs, and grow their businesses.
BWC again lowering overall rates for Ohio private employers
COLUMBUS – The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will adopt a 10.8 percent overall rate reduction for Ohio private employers with approval from the BWC Board of Directors today. The change, effective July 1, is expected to bring a decrease in projected annual premium of $153 million, and bring private employer rate levels 21.4 percent lower than the rate levels in effect January 1, 2011.
“The environment for employers operating in Ohio is improving along with the state’s economy, and BWC is certainly part of that story,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “We’ve targeted improvements that will yield positive improvements to Ohio’s workers’ compensation system, and are conducive to business growth. Lower rates, along with a focus on workplace accident prevention and care for those who are injured, all support the state’s continued economic recovery.”
The reduction is possible due to a number of factors, including lower expected claim frequency, as well as the upcoming adoption of a prospective billing system. Details on prospective billing and the resulting one-time premium credit totaling $1.2 billion for private employers and local governments are available at bwc.ohio.gov.
The reduction is an overall statewide average. The actual premium paid by an employer will depend on expected future costs in their industry segment, their recent claims history, and participation in various premium credit and savings programs.
Buehrer reminded employers the 2015 Ohio Safety Congress and Expo offers employers opportunities to learn about their role in keeping their premiums as low as possible through workplace accident prevention. Safety Congress, which will take place March 31 to April 2 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, is BWC’s annual occupational health and safety expo. The event allows both businesses and their employees to learn techniques for injury and illness prevention, rehabilitation, return-to-work and cost savings. There is no cost for Ohio employers and their employees to attend the event. Register and search for sessions at bwc.ohio.gov.
The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 26, 2015.