OH BWC BoD Stabilizes 2011 Group Discount

                               Columbus, OH (CompNewsNetwork) - Marking the third anniversary of its first meeting, the BWC Board of Directors voted to maintain the current maximum discount and break even factors (BEF) for group-rated employers for the policy year beginning July 1, 2011.

In October 2009, the Board established the current maximum discount and BEFs for the July 1, 2010, policy year as part of its ongoing rate reform initiative. Now in its third year, rate reform is proving successful in bringing more equity and stability to the rates Ohio employers pay for workers' compensation insurance coverage. Today's vote holds the maximum discount for employers in the group rating program at 51 percent and keeps the same BEF formula used to adjust discount levels based on the overall risk of a group.

“The intent of rate reform has been to ensure fairness, equity and stability in our rates and ultimately the premium costs for all Ohio employers,” said BWC Administrator Marsha Ryan. “Today, Ohio's rates are the lowest they've been in 20 years and the cost for employers more appropriately represents the risk they bring to the workers' compensation system.”

Since 2007, Ohio's average base rate has dropped 35% - the lowest in two decades. Ohio's average base rate stands at $1.95 per $100 of payroll. While Ohio rates ranked among the highest in 2007, they are now in the mid-range for the nation at 20th, according to a comparison study by the BWC Actuarial Division. The improved national ranking and lower rates are products of BWC's efforts to improve premium equity for all employers, while maintaining an actuarially sound State Insurance Fund.

In other business, the Board revised a rule related to authorization and payment for devices that control pain and speed recovery. Injured workers were previously required to submit signed written requests for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) and neuromuscular electrical stimulator (NMES) supplies on a monthly basis. Today's rule revision takes this unintended burden off of the injured workers by requiring their employers' Managed Care Organization to determine the need for supplies.

The next meeting of the BWC Board of Directors will be Friday, September 24, 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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