Workers Compensation and Unemployment

Workers Compensation and Unemployment

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) launched a rate-reform initiative in 2007 to bring insurance best practices to BWC’s programs and the rates employers pay.  The result?  Ohio’s workers’ compensation average base rates have dropped to their lowest levels in more than 20 years.  When compared with 42 other states, Ohio’s rates went from the nation’s third highest in 2007 to 20th in 2010. Reform practices saved Ohio’s private employers $224 million in premiums from 2007-2010 by reducing average base rates. The BWC Board of Directors again approved a private employer base-rate reduction of 2.1 percent for the July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, policy year. The rate reduction represents an aggregate savings of $29 million over 2013 premiums.

Employers in 73 of Ohio’s 88 counties experienced a net reduction in total premium, with the majority of the largest State Fund employers seeing a premium decrease in policy year 2009.

Other significant reform results:

  • The Grow Ohio program, created in 2011, helps new businesses by offering discounts during their startup. In its first full year, the program saved 21,376 businesses more than $3 million. Businesses have the option of taking a 25% discount for their first two years, or joining the group rating program immediately, saving up to 53% off their premium.
  • Destination: Excellence, a new program created to reward employers for their efforts to create safer work places and to transition injured workers back into their jobs. Just months after its start, more than half of all Ohio employers are taking part in at least one aspect of the program, helping the business community save an estimated $28 – $41 million.

Since July 1, 2007, the BWC has lowered average base rates by 35 percent for the majority of Ohio’s private employers.

Industry group Name % change*
 1 Agriculture -16
 2 Extraction -16
 3 Manufacturing -17
 4 Construction -15
 5 Transportation -13
 6 Utility -6
 7 Commercial -12
 8 Service -19
 9 High risk commercial/service -13
 10 Office work/miscellaneous -22

* Since 2008 policy year