Recent BWC Announcements Mean Positive Changes for Ohio Businesses

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) recently announced a few changes that are beneficial to Ohio employers. First, the Bureau proposed a reduction to the state’s private employer workers’ compensation base rate by 8.6 percent. Second, the Bureau will now offer insurance options to eligible Ohio businesses for their employees who work out of state.

Rate Reduction

The proposed rate reduction will decrease premiums by $113 million next year. If the reduction is adopted it will mean that Ohio businesses will be paying an average of 28.2 percent less, or $463 million less per year, than what was being paid in 2011. The BWC board of directors will vote to approve the proposal on March 17th. The Ohio Chamber will keep you up to date on the final decision through our social media channels.

For ways to reduce your individual workers’ compensation costs, we encourage you to visit the BWC website.

Out of State Coverage

Generally, the BWC provides coverage for employees temporarily working outside of Ohio. However, problems still frequently arise. If an injured worker files a workers’ compensation claim in another state, the employer may be subjected to the workers’ compensation laws of that state. Further, some states require that an employer have coverage in the state even if the employee is only working in the state briefly. In both instances, treatment for the employee can be delayed and the employer could be subjected to hefty fines and penalties.

To help alleviate some of these issues, the BWC will begin offering a new optional coverage. Through a law passed last year, the BWC was given the ability to contract with insurers to provide coverage for Ohio employers with employees working out of state. United States Insurance Services (USIS) and Zurich were selected for the program. The new workers’ compensation insurance option will simplify the system for Ohio businesses with employees working in other states. It means that employees will be covered without businesses having to manage policies in multiple states with different laws. The Bureau stated this is just one of the steps they have taken to make sure workers’ compensation is not a barrier to business expansion.

You can learn more about this program and apply online.