COLUMBUS – Ohio’s private employers will pay nearly $132 million less in premiums to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation next fiscal year under a 13 percent rate reduction the agency’s Board of Directors approved recently.
The reduction marks BWC’s third largest rate cut in 60 years and follows the agency’s largest rate reduction (20 percent) that the board approved last year.
“The employers and employees we cover in our system continue to experience fewer and less costly claims, so we’re happy to pass these savings along to our employer community,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “It’s our hope employers will use these savings to invest in the safety and wellness of their workplaces.”
The rate reduction becomes effective July 1, the start of state fiscal year 2021. It will save private employers $131.6 million over this year’s premiums. It also follows a 10 percent rate reduction for public employers — counties, cities, schools and others — that went into effect Jan. 1. Overall, the average rate levels for the 249,000 private and public Ohio employers in the BWC system are at their lowest in at least 40 years.
Premiums paid to BWC not only cover health care and lost wages for injured workers, they also support BWC’s Safety & Hygiene Division, which offers training, consultations and other services to help employers improve workplace safety. Employer participation in these services has grown by more than 70 percent since 2010. Total annual claims, meanwhile, have fallen 19 percent over that time to 84,364 in 2019.
The 13 percent rate cut represents an average statewide change to premiums and does not include costs related to the administrative cost fund or other funds BWC administers. The actual premium paid by individual private employers depends on several factors, including the expected future claims costs in their industry, their company’s recent claims history, and their participation in various BWC programs.