The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation this week approved a rate reduction of 8.6% for private employers.
The price cut, which will go into effect July 1, is expected to save employers some $113 million next year. Previous cuts during the past five years have saved companies $4.3 billion as rates dropped more than 28%, the Bureau said.
The state’s local governments and schools are also paying their lowest rates in more than 30 years.
“Since 2011, BWC has moved from being a barrier to success for Ohio’s businesses to becoming a partner in economic growth, making life simpler and cheaper for employers,” said the Bureau Administrator and Chief Executive Steve Buehrer. “Our conservative fiscal policies, attention to safety and strong investment management have resulted in billions of dollars in rate cuts, rebates and other savings.”
The Bureau detailed a full accounting of the $4.3 billion saved, including:
- Reducing average rates for private employers by 21.5 percent and nearly 30 percent for public employers resulting in a cumulative difference in premiums collected of $1 billion;
- Strong investments and conservative fiscal management, which allowed for two $1 billion rebates (FY13 & FY15);
- Issuing $1.2 billion in credits to Ohio employers, allowing a transition without any cost to employers-to a modern billing system that adds flexible payment options and further reduces premiums; and
- Tripling its safety grant program to $15 million annually, for a total of $40 million in grants over the last five years. During that period, injury claims dropped 9 percent, making Ohio's injury rates lower than the national average and all surrounding states.
This year’s reduction comes amid lower than expected costs and a reduction in workplace injuries.
The proposed reduction is an overall statewide average. The actual premium paid by individual private employers depends on a number of factors, including the expected future costs in their industry, their recent claims history, and their participation in various programs. Employers are encouraged to visit bwc.ohio.gov to learn about programs that can assist in lowering their workers' compensation costs by making safety improvements in their workplaces.