Rebates and rate cuts since 2011 total $6 billion
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison today proposed a $1 billion rebate for Ohio’s private and public employers, the third such rebate since 2013.
Morrison announced the proposal with Gov. John Kasich at Dynamit, a downtown Columbus company that creates web and mobile applications. If approved by BWC’s Board of Directors, the proposed 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. “Returning yet another $1 billion back to our businesses, schools and local governments means we will have saved employers as well as taxpayers an impressive $6 billion in our continuing efforts to make workers’ compensation operate better.”
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 percent return, but enjoyed an annualized return of 7 percent over the last three fiscal years, including a total net return of 5.8 percent in fiscal year 2016.
If approved by the BWC Board of Directors, more than 200,000 eligible private and public employers would receive a rebate equal to 66 percent of premiums for the policy year that ended June 30, 2016 (calendar year 2015 for public employers). The proposal will be presented to the board at its meeting this 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 well being on the job and at home.”