Banking & Finance

BWC Lowering Overall Rates for Private Employers

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will adopt a 10.8% 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% 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, in a prepared statement. “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, Buehrer said. 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, BWC said. 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.

SOURCE: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.