Columbus, OH – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation recently proposed to its Board of Directors an average rate reduction of 9.1 percent for Ohio’s 3,800 cities, counties, townships, villages, schools and special districts covered by the BWC. Overall, due to the proposed 2015 rate cut, it is estimated that these employers would pay $19.0 million less in annual premium. This proposed reduction, combined with decreases implemented in each of the past four years, results in a total decrease to local government rates of nearly 20% since 2011.
“Public employers are already paying the lowest rates in at least 30 years, and this additional reduction would go a long way for these employers that are closely monitoring each dollar,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “We encourage public employers to utilize these savings to invest in workplace safety to protect their workers and further reduce workers’ compensation costs.”
BWC staff made the recommendation during a meeting of the Board’s Actuarial Committee. If approved during next month’s meeting, the new rates will be effective Jan. 1, 2015.
The decrease represents a reduction to the average of the collectible rates for public employer taxing districts covered by the BWC. Actual premium changes for individual public entities will differ based on several factors including their manual classification (the exact type of public entity they are), as well as their own recent claims history and program participation.
Separately, public employers could receive a total of $126 million in rebates beginning next month due to recent stellar investment earnings in the Fund, if the Board approves the Another Billion Back proposal during tomorrow’s regular meeting. That proposal includes a $1 million investment specifically to increase the availability of safety training for Ohio firefighters.
Over the last four years, BWC has taken several steps to cut costs and support safe workplaces for local governments by:
- Providing more than $250 million in rebates;
- Reducing rates to their lowest point in 30 years; and,
- Awarding more than $8 million in safety grants.
The next meeting of the BWC Board of Directors is scheduled for Friday, October 24, 2014.