BWC cuts Workers' Comp rates, announces $1.5B back to employers

Continued strong investment returns, prudent fiscal management, and falling claims numbers have prompted the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to recommend another $1.5 billion in premium rebates to Ohio employers this summer, expanding workers' comp savings for employers to $8 billion since 2011.

The rebate, BWC's largest in 20 years, will be voted on at the BWC board's May 24 meeting.

The proposed rebate equals 85 percent of the premiums paid for the policy year that ended June 30, 2017 (calendar year 2016 for public employers).

It would follow $1 billion in rebates issued in 2013, 2014 and 2017, as well as a $15 million rebate in 2016 for counties, cities and other public employers.

Of the proposed $1.5 billion, an estimated $48 million would go to schools and $111 million would go to local government entities. That's on top of $402 million in rebates they have received since 2013 ($125 million for schools, $277 million for others).

With this rebate, BWC will have saved employers $8 billion in workers' compensation costs since 2011 after considering other rebates, credits, greater efficiencies and several rate reductions, including two this year.

If approved, rebate checks will likely be mailed in July and August.

In addition to the rebate, private employers will also see a reduction in their premiums beginning July 1 as a result of a 12 percent reduction approved earlier this year.

The reduction will save private employers $163.5 million on this year's premiums, which are already at their lowest rates in at least 40 years due to a declining number of claims and slow-to-moderate growth in medical inflation.