OH BWC Board of Directors Sets Public Employer Ratemaking Guidelines

                               Columbus, OH (CompNewsNetwork) - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors voted today to modify two tables that impact experience-based rate adjustments for Public Employer Taxing Districts (PEC), effective January 1, 2011. The credibility table will have maximum value of 65-percent and will have lower eligibility requirements, allowing smaller employers to earn adjustments based on their own claim experience. For those in group rating, the revised break-even factor table allows them to achieve a maximum discount of 59-percent. PECs include approximately 3,900 cities, counties, villages, townships, schools and special districts.

Today's action aligns the PEC credibility table with that of private employers, which was established by the Board earlier this year, and becomes effective July 1, 2010. The break-even factor is applied in conjunction with the credibility table to assist BWC in setting rates for all PECs that reflect their level of risk.

“As PECs look for ways to continue their work with fewer and fewer resources, BWC has lowered their rates by an average 17-percent since last year, and is now taking steps to bring improved accuracy and better consistency to their premiums,” said BWC Administrator Marsha Ryan. “Comprehensive reform is benefiting public employers as well as their counterparts in the private sector by bringing more equity to what every Ohio employer pays for their workers' compensation insurance coverage.”

In other business, the Board adopted internal operational rules related to the handling of confidential personal information (CPI) stored in BWC databases. The rule is in response to a statutory mandate and a directive from Governor Strickland requiring all state agencies to adopt a detailed implementation plan that evaluates all personal information systems maintained by each agency, and to develop policy and administrative rules governing the use and access of CPI.

BWC's rule requires valid reasons and procedures for accessing CPI; catalogs confidentiality statutes; establishes criteria for giving BWC employees access to CPI; and sets procedures for documenting employee access.

“BWC is committed to safeguarding the privacy of employers and injured workers by ensuring that their confidential information is accessed only by the appropriate personnel for legitimate reasons germane to their work duties,” added Ryan.

Finally, the Board delivered its annual review of Administrator Ryan's job performance over the past year. Ryan received an overall numeric rating of 4.54 out of 5.0 for FY10, reflecting an “excellent/plus” performance for the third consecutive year.

The Board cited Ryan's major accomplishments for the year as:

  • Continued progress on rate reform, with emphasis on the right rate for the right risk, and the development of alternative rating and premium payment programs for employers;
  • Progress in implementing a revised Investment Policy, revised asset allocation targets and investment portfolio rebalancing;
  • Significant progress in overall strategic financial planning, including the development of well-defined financial policies and the redesign and/or introduction of accountability-based programs.


In the review, Chairman Bill Lhota detailed Administrator Ryan's leadership through BWC's rate reform efforts, stating, “Marsha and her staff have been successful in the continuing effort to lower overall premium rates, while striving to bring stability and equity to the system. Her guidance has helped the Board to stay focused and do the right thing in this area.”

When discussing Administrator Ryan's leadership, Lhota adds, “The Administrator has demonstrated courage and a passion for leadership that is evidenced everyday through the progress being made at BWC. She has also implemented a thorough and well-planned cost containment plan that has resulted in the Bureau's operating expenses being millions of dollars lower than projected.”

As mandated, Lhota has presented the Administrator's evaluation to Governor Ted Strickland.

The next meeting of the BWC Board of Directors will be Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 8 a.m. in Room 3, Level 2 of the William Green Building, located at 30 W. Spring St., Columbus.

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