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Ohio’s workers’ comp program proposes largest private-employer rate cut in nearly 60 years

Written on Feb 6, 2019

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is considering a 20% reduction in the average premium rate it charges private employers, which would be its largest rate cut in nearly six decades.

The BWC’s actuarial staff and a consultant proposed the rate cuts, which would save 242,000 employers in the state a combined $244 million in the next fiscal year, according to BWC spokeswoman Melissa Vince. If the BWC board approves the idea (as expected) during its Feb. 22 meeting, the rate cut would take effect July 1.

While the average rate cut would be 20%, the actual savings would vary by company based on factors such as how many workers’ comp claims the company filed in recent years and their participation in various rebate programs.

BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud said in a statement that the cuts were proposed because of fewer workplace injuries and falling estimates of future medical costs. Since 2010, workers’ comp claims have dropped 18% to 85,136 in 2018, according to a BWC release.

“We’re pleased Ohio employers recognize that workplace safety is vital to the health of their workforce, their businesses and our state’s economy,” said McCloud. “Their efforts to promote safe and healthy workplaces are clearly paying off, and they’re making it easier for us to maintain low and stable workers’ compensation rates now and into the future.”

If approved, it would be the ninth time the BWC has slashed rates since 2008. Overall, average rate levels for private employers are already at their lowest in at least 40 years, the release stated.

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