The Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation’s board of directors recently approved a four percent reduction in workers’ compensation base rates for private employers. The new rate became effective July 1, and will result in a collective cut in premiums of around $65 million for Ohio businesses. The new rates will be reflected in the next BWC payroll report.
The reduction applies to employers regardless of whether they participated in incentive programs such as group rating. Governor John Kasich advocated the rate reduction to provide relief for Ohio companies and to help attract new businesses to the state. The BWC cited a combination of strong investment returns and a decline in injury claims in making the rate cut possible.
The BWC reported additional decreases for some key industries, including manufacturing, which will decline by seven percent, and commercial, which includes retail and wholesale establishments, which will see a five percent reduction.
If your business is not already group rated, we suggest that you consider the cost savings of becoming group rated. Although group discounts are not as high as the once were, they can still result in discounts as high as 51 percent. The savings in your workers’ compensation premiums will often far exceed the cost of joining a group. There are a variety of groups that you can join, allowing you access to the group rating discounts. In order to be eligible to join a group, you have to be current with your BWC filings and payments, and you normally have to have a clean claims history for the four previous years. The cutoff to be accepted into a group is normally February 28th of each year, with the reduced rate taking effect on July 1st.