The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) began the new year with a rate reduction for Ohio’s public employers, estimating that those employers will pay nearly $17 million less in workers’ compensation insurance premiums next year thanks to the cut. The BWC announced that this 10% rate reduction was made possible by a decline in injury claims and low medical inflation costs by Ohio’s public taxing districts. The BWC is now weighing whether to also cut rates for Ohio’s private employers, with the same 10% reduction going to a vote by the agency’s Board of Directors at its February 25th meeting.
For Ohio’s private employers, the 10% rate reduction would amount to nearly $106 million less in premiums paid for the next fiscal year. If approved, it will go into effect on July 1, 2022.
In a press release from January 28th, the BWC boasts that the overall average rate levels for the 249,000 private and public Ohio employers in the BWC’s system are at their lowest in 40 years. For Ohio’s public employers—which include the state and any political subdivisions of the state, school districts, state institutions of higher learning, and other state agencies, commissions, and boards—this rate reduction was the 13th cut since 2009, as the BWC notes in a prior press release from January 3rd. In that same press release, the BWC noted that there have been 11 rate reductions for private employers since 2008, not including the one going to a vote on February 25th. If approved, the rate cut for private employers would also be the fourth since Governor DeWine took office in 2019.
Finally, for both public and private employers, the 10% rate cut represents a statewide average, but the actual premiums paid by employers are determined by a number of different factors, including expected future claim costs of their particular industry, their claims history, and their participation in certain BWC programs that could entitle them to various rebates and discounts.