Health Care

BWC Proposes $1 Billion Rebate on Premiums

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation proposes rebating $1 billion to the state’s private and public employers, the third such rebate since 2013.

The proposal was announced Monday by Gov. John Kasich and BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison during a press event at Dynamit, a Columbus company that creates web and mobile applications.

If approved by BWC’s board of directors, the rebate, along with previous rebates, credits and rate reductions, would total $6.3 billion the agency has saved Ohio employers in workers’ compensation costs since the start of 2011.

“By continually looking to reduce workers compensation costs to public and private employers, and invest in workplace safety efforts, Ohio has been able to create a much better climate for success for job creators, government employees and workers,” said Kasich.

Morrison said strong fiscal management and better-than-expected investment returns have increased the net position of the State Insurance Fund to $9.6 billion, making the rebate possible. She said BWC anticipated a 4% return, but enjoyed an annualized return of 7% over the last three fiscal years, including a total net return of 5.8% in fiscal 2016.

More than 200,000 eligible private and public employers stand to receive a rebate equal to 66% of premiums for the policy year ended June 30, 2016 (calendar year 2015 for public employers). The proposal will be presented to the board Thursday. If approved at the board’s April meeting, BWC could begin issuing checks in early July.

Morrison also announced the bureau, at Gov. Kasich’s urging, is exploring a significant investment in workplace safety across the state, the details of which should be available next month.

“Gov. Kasich challenged us to invest even more in creating a culture of safety in Ohio’s workplaces and ensuring more people return home each day safe and healthy,” she said. “Our goal is to develop a plan that will help protect workers’ health and wellbeing on the job and at home.”

A fact sheet regarding the rebate proposal can be found here. An overview of the $6.3 billion in workers’ comp savings since 2011 can be found here.

SOURCE: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.