September 2014 Update:
Governor John R. Kasich joined Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer to announce a $1 billion rebate to Ohio's private and public sector workers' compensation customers, as well as a major new investment in worker safety research and training.
Dubbed "Another Billion Back," the rebate comes on the heels of last year's $1 billion rebate for workers' comp customers. Both rebates were made possible by strong investment returns in the workers' compensation fund.
BWC's preliminary annualized return of investments was 8.9 percent over the last three fiscal years, including 13.3 percent in 2014. The State Insurance Fund net assets stand at $7.7 billion and its funding ratio far exceeds target guidelines set by the BWC Board of Directors. If approved by the BWC Board of Directors, eligible private and public employers would receive a rebate equal to 60 percent of premiums paid during the July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 policy year (calendar year 2012 for public employers). The proposal will be presented to the board at its August meeting, and if approved in its September meeting, BWC could begin issuing checks as early as October*.
Another Billion Back seeks to build on last year's $15 million investment in safety intervention grants with several initiatives that will ultimately enhance the safety, health and wellness of Ohio's workforce. Additionally, special safety training is proposed to reduce injuries among firefighters, whom frequently have very high workers' comp rates due to the dangerous and risky nature of their work. Additional information on the proposal can be found here.
BWC is adding a safety campaign themed Better Business Starts with Safety, Safety Starts at BWC to reach Ohio employers and encourage them to take advantage of BWC's safety services before experiencing a workplace injury or illness. A microsite allows employers to compare injury rates and costs within and across industry sectors. It also links employers directly to BWC safety consultants, who can survey their workplace and advise them on preventing occupational injuries and illnesses in their workplaces. The campaign is a result of the safety commitment made as part of last year's Billion Back initiative, which also tripled safety grant funding to $15 million for each of fiscal years 2014 and 2015.
Another Billion Back is an example of BWC's work over the last four years to be a better partner in improving Ohio's business environment and helping encourage the state's economic revival. Sound financial and operational management has also allowed BWC to:
*Eligible employers must be in good standing and have paid their January 1 to June 30 premiums.
Contact Bureau of Workers' Compensation for more information.
Attention employers: Please check out the Accountability Letter that outlines group rating safety requirements and responsibilities of all associated parties.